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Sensory stimulation is the practice of using everyday sounds, foods, objects and other items to awaken the senses and elicit a positive response or feeling. This technique is often used to help seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia because it can help them stay in the moment and interact with their current surroundings.
Studies have shown that when done on a regular basis, sensory stimulation can be very helpful in treating memory issues. By offering different ways to communicate and engaging all five senses, seniors can see some improvement in daily functioning and cognitive symptoms.
You don’t have to be a therapist to use sensory stimulation for your senior loved one. Anyone who is dealing with the inability to connect with the world around them can hugely benefit because it allows them to relate in other positive ways. Sensory stimulation can be used to trigger thoughts, memories or feelings that would otherwise be buried below the surface.
Here are several ways you can incorporate sensory stimulation for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s:
Another way to help your loved one with sensory stimulation is to make a memory box. Find a small shoebox (or a large box, if you prefer) and fill it with sentimental items. Include family photos, jewelry and other items that would make your loved one smile if they saw it or touched it. Anything you can do to spark a memory or stimulate the senses could have a positive impact.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it’s important to seek care and support. At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, our memory care communities provide specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s. Our safe and secure setting and professionally design programs encourages seniors to maintain their independence and their dignity. Contact us today to learn more about our memory care communities in Rochester.