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How Sensory Stimulation Helps with Dementia in Halifax Seniors

Posted Feb 19, 2016

Sensory stimulation involves activating one or more of the five senses – smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing. As Halifax seniors age or become ill one or more of these senses can become less prominent and may lead to confusion. Even in advance stages of dementia pleasure can be derived from stimulating one or more senses.

There are a variety of benefits which can include increased socialization, increased concentration, improved self-concept and increased alertness. Sense of smell can be stimulated by using items that may bring back familiar and/or comforting memories such as baby powder, vanilla, mint or coffee. Use bright, fun or soft colors can provide visual stimulation, as can pictures/tv shows of animals, familiar places, lights and nature.

Touch can be a strong communication tool for people with dementia; some options to provide this include manicures, animals (if comfortable), and various textured items. Sounds should be at a controlled volume and can include music, nature sounds, and reading out loud.

When providing stimulation via tasting keep special diets in mind. Try sharing meals that evoke memories, sweets or special drinks.

The main point here is that Halifax seniors experiencing dementia can benefit from a variety of sensory stimulation, so give this a try with your loved one or talk with your caregiver about it.

(Reference: Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba)