As dementia advances, communication and mobility become difficult. However, individuals with dementia can still live a full, rich life. If your loved one has dementia here is some helpful information to keep them calm and interactive through sensory stimulation.
What is sensory stimulation?
Sensory stimulation is the activation of one or more of our five senses. These senses are taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. Activating senses is not as difficult. Simple activities such as puzzles, singing, or even a hand massage works.
Why dementia patients?
The brain and nervous system continuously generate electrical activity and respond to their surroundings. We are designed to interact with the world around us, therefore, stimulation helps us thrive.
Those suffering from dementia don’t get the needed stimulation from daily tasks like going to the store or working with their hands. As the disorder progresses, feelings of fear, isolation, and confusion prevent the senses from activating. Through various activities, people with dementia can recall positive memories and emotions and engage with their peers. It also requires them to concentrate on the object and the memory, improving alertness.
The activities should be associated with interests the person had before dementia to help rebuild that connection. For instance, an elder that grew up nearby the beach can relive childhood memories through an item as small as a seashell. Feeling the texture and weight of the shell can help strengthen their cognitive abilities.
It’s important to tailor the activities to each specific person, taking into account their individual needs and preferences. Some activities are more suitable and appropriate than others. depending on how advanced memory loss may be.
Sensory stimulation is intended to bring joy to people living with dementia, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase communication. Many times, seniors struggle to connect and relate to the world around them. Evoking positive feelings during a stressful situation can go a long way in creating some comfort.
If you are considering a nursing home or assisted living for a loved one in northern NJ, The Little Nursing Home of Montclair offers a cozy and calm atmosphere with the comforts of home. We are family-owned for over 60 years and run by experienced registered nurses. Call or email us for more info or to schedule a tour.