advice, Caring Role, Dementia Care

What sensory activities can I do to help?

What sensory activities can I do to help?

Why don’t you try? : Find out about sensory activities

Sensory stimulation activates one or more of the five senses; hearing, smell, taste, touch and vision. Senses are stimulated through a range of activities, from something simple like a hand massage using scented lotion, or listening to a playlist of your favourite music, to more complicated activities designed to provide a deeper sensory experience.

These activities help adults with disabilities and dementia reminisce upon positive memories and emotions, encouraging them to communicate and engage with those around them.

Benefits of Sensory Stimulation for Adults
1) Conversation Starters:
Sensory stimulation offers adults with learning disabilities or dementia a way to express themselves without the need for words. Certain objects can help an individual to ask questions, respond to verbal cues, and remain calm in a stressful situation.

2) Objective Memories:
Sensory objects also evoke positive feelings, helping individuals to relax, improve their mood, self-esteem, and well-being.

A great example could come from a simple seashell. If a senior living with dementia grew up in a seaside town, an item as small as a seashell might bring back warm, happy memories of their childhood home. Feeling the shell’s rough texture and weight in their hands are simple actions that can also strengthen their cognitive abilities.

3) Expel Fears, Create Trust:
One of the main benefits of sensory therapy is reducing an individual’s fears by enhancing the trust that they share with their carer.

Many people with cognitive impairments, such as autism and dementia, struggle to understand the world around them. Therefore they feel frightened and unnerved in certain situations, making interacting with others difficult.

Sensory rooms offer residents a stream of positive stimuli that helps to increase their awareness of their surroundings. Consequently, residents will feel at ease in a multisensory space, helping them to open up to their carer, deepening their relationship and level of trust.

4) Touch:
Studies have shown that, on average most people touch around 300 different surfaces every half an hour. Whereas someone with a profound cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, will touch only three surfaces. Highlighting how touch-deprived many care home residents may be, is why sensory engagement is especially beneficial.

5) Calming Aggressive Behaviour:
People with autism and dementia may easily become agitated or aggressive, but this is usually because they don’t have a suitable outlet to express their emotions. However, multi-sensory spaces can be used as a safe place for residents to release and explore those emotions. Helping to prevent and reduce the number of aggressive outbursts and mood swings.

Source: Rhino UK
Source: Pexels

Here’s a tip for you to try this week :

Research online ideas for sensory activities you can do in your home. Look online at types of services in your area you can visit to help stimulate senses. Speak to your local autism support group or branch for ideas. Speak to any assigned health professionals such as social worker or learning disability team for advice or suggestions. Look in the Bridgit marketplace for product suggestions.

You can visit the Bridgit Shop at anytime to find our what products and services can support you.

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