Tapestry are delighted to announce that we are opening Havering’s first Dementia focused sensory experience at the start of Dementia Awareness Week (21st to 27th of May).
We will be opening a sensory room at both of our Wellbeing Centres. These will be innovative spaces for people living with dementia to safely explore and stimulate all five senses in a controlled environment. The rooms can also be used for calming people, depending on their needs.
Dementia can present problems with thinking, mood, behaviour and the ability to take part in everyday activity and leisure. This can lead to people living with dementia having nothing to do, which in turn can lead to them becoming increasingly isolated, frustrated, bored and unhappy. This can be reflected in wandering and searching behaviours or individuals becoming agitated and emotionally distressed. The absence of activities can also affect their ability to maintain everyday skills such as self-care.
Everyone needs sensory stimulation in order to comprehend the world around them. The only way we can get information into our brains is through sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and movement. It is recognised that deprivation of sensory stimulation and appropriate activity can have a devastating impact on our health and wellbeing. People living with dementia are often limited in their physical and cognitive abilities.
We believe that people living with dementia need to be helped to engage in activities that provide multi-sensory stimulation. Our sensory rooms have been designed to provide stimulation and activities suitable and appropriate for people living with dementia to keep them active and included, which we believe will help to maintain function, cognition and to manage and moderate both mood and behaviour.
Dr. Anke Jakob, from London’s Kingston University and co-producer of the publication “How to Make a Sensory Room for People Living with Dementia,” says that sensory rooms: “Can enhance feelings of comfort and well-being, relieve stress and pain and maximize a person’s potential to focus, all of which help improve communication and memory.”
What is a Sensory Room?
A sensory room is a space for enjoying a variety of sensory experiences where gentle stimulation of the senses can be provided in a controlled way. Stimulation can be increased or decreased to match the interests and therapeutic needs of the person living with dementia.
This can be done through sensory stimulation therapy combined with gentle lighting, movement, music and tactile objects to evoke memories and feelings.
What is Sensory Stimulation Therapy?
Sensory stimulation therapy uses everyday objects to arouse one or more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch) with the goal of evoking positive feelings.
Sensory stimulation therapy has been used in Europe since the 1960’s and was originally designed to help people with learning disabilities.
How Can Sensory Stimulation Help People Living With Dementia?
As dementia progresses, a person’s ability to communicate and perform everyday activities declines. Sensory stimulation can give individuals the means to express themselves when they can no longer do so with words, which can help them feel safe and relaxed. This can improve their:
- Self Esteem
Sensory stimulation with those diagnosed with dementia is intended to bring enjoyment, reduce anxiety and depression and increases their social interaction. Increasing sensory awareness also supports information processing and raises awareness of the general environment.
How Can This Benefit Caregivers?
It is also very beneficial to have shared sensory stimulation activities aimed at the person living with dementia and their caregiver. A sensory stimulating environment may facilitate interaction between the person living with dementia and their caregiver enhancing communication on a verbal and non-verbal level.
If you would like more information on our Sensory Rooms please contact us on 01708 796 600.