Sensory rooms are one of the newest trends in the constantly evolving field of dementia treatment methods. Designed to promote feelings of comfort and happiness, sensory rooms relieve the pain and stress associated with dementia while also serving to improve the dementia sufferer’s ability to focus, communicate, and remember.
Filled with specially-designed components, sensory rooms provide an auditory and tactile experience for those with dementia. Soft and gentle lighting combined with soothing, pleasant music, and pleasing aroma impart calming and stimulating sensations.
This gives those suffering from dementia an invaluable way to interact with the world around them in a safe and non-threatening manner, sensory rooms are highly unique environments.
Types of Sensory Rooms
Sensory rooms can vary greatly in terms of size, the number of components within them, and the quality of those components. Rooms can range from high-tech enclaves featuring cutting-edge technology throughout, to more basic rooms which rely on tactile objects, comfortable furniture, and simple yet engaging objects.
As a result, no two sensory rooms are exactly alike; each one is a unique collective of objects, equipment, and furniture designed to enliven, engage, and provide interactivity.
Sensory rooms can include things like sound beams, bubble tubes, fiber optic light sprays, stuffed animals, weighted blankets, squeeze balls, bean bags, acrylic mirrors, and a variety of small tactile objects in an array of materials.
The multifaceted environment found in sensory rooms can serve to engage multiple areas of the brain, which is a crucially important concept for dementia sufferers requiring the utmost assistance with memory retention and information absorption.
Through opportunities to improve balance and movement, sensory rooms also help to develop a person’s visual processing abilities as well as their motor skills
Providing a Sense of Calm
One of the most important aspects of sensory rooms is the sense of calm and comfort they provide. Dementia sufferers often experience intense anxiety, fear, and stress which are hard to mitigate with any other means except for the highly unique experience provided by a sensory room.
Letting a stressed and anxious dementia sufferer spend time in the colorful, engaging, calm, and comfortable environment of a sensory room will immediately alleviate the burdensome feelings they feel and work to give them a sense of peace and happiness.
Less common but highly desirable equipment found in sensory rooms include things like a contact-free musical instrument that individuals can communicate and express themselves with, vibrational acoustic learning chairs that offer built-in music capabilities, soothing vibrations, and a comfortable bean-bag like construction.
Benefits of Sensory Rooms:
|Improved mood||Increased interpersonal interaction|
|Declined frequency in disruptive, violent, aggressive, and oppositional behaviors.||Unrestrained, non-threatening space to explore at one’s own leisure|
|Decreased anxiety; provides immediate relief through distraction, interactive play and exploration, and comfortable surroundings that provide serenity and calm||Provides caretakers opportunities to observe effective methods to arouse or calm certain individuals and to see their particular likes and dislikes|
|Decreased fear||Develop and engage the senses|
|Improved patient-caretaker communication||Boost confidence and autonomy|
|Increased happiness and sense of well-being||Rich and diverse experience|
|High level of therapeutic efficacy||Improved language and social skills|
|Provides better standard of care||Patient-centered individual approach|
|Low-risk, non-invasive therapy||Reduces reliance on medication|
Common Components Found in Sensory Rooms:
|Bubble tubes featuring an array of colors and lights||Fiber optic light sprays|
|Acrylic mirrors||Wide selection of soft play tactile toys and objects designed in an array of materials, colors, and textures|
|Easy chairs with built-in music functionality||Sound machines featuring nature and water sounds|
|Surround-sound stereo system||Interactive, brightly-colored statement objects (ex. Jumbo Love Bug)|
|Projectors (for visual imagery and movies)||Low stair steps|
|Soft floor mats||Sound beams|