Benefits of a Multi-Sensory Room for Dementia Care

The Palace Gardens, an Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Homestead, offers residents the use of a unique multi-sensory room especially geared for Alzheimer’s care. Here, residents sit with a caregiver in soft enveloping recliners amid a room draped in soft white flowing fabric and enjoy soothing sounds, smells and other tactile stimulation with specialized lighting.

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The multi-sensory room is inspired by Snoezelen (pronounced snuzelen), a type of therapy originally founded in Holland where a controlled multisensory environment is used for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, dementia or brain injury. It’s created for the purpose of delivering high levels of stimulation. When people living with dementia have nothing to do, for example, they might become increasingly isolated, frustrated, bored and unhappy, according to Jennifer Almodovar, CTRS, Memory Care Activities Director at The Palace Gardens. The award-winning community’s multi-sensory room offers lighting effects, aromatherapy, colors, textures and sounds to stimulate a person’s olfactory, auditory and gustatory systems. It is a safe mood-enhancing environment where caregivers can devote one-on-one time with residents. Some benefits that have been found using this type of therapy include:

1. Increased resident and caregiver communication
One of the key benefits of this type of therapy is its ability to reduce an individual’s fears and create greater trust in the people closest to them. Palace Gardens’ caregivers are specially trained in using the multi-sensory room’s variety of features that best meet an individual’s need.

2. Increased knowledge and understanding of the environment
Because the multi-sensory environment is controlled, residents receive a steady stream of stimuli that increase their awareness and understanding of their surroundings. Someone with dementia may be sensory deprived and the benefits of clinically engaging their senses help them.

3. Improved behavior and mood
The non-threatening environment offers gentle stimulation that reduces tension. The multi-sensory room has dimmed lighting, intriguing aromas and soothing sounds. People find it replenishes the spirit and improves one’s mood.

4. Improved self-esteem
While each person may experience different benefits from their time in the multi-sensory room, it’s generally found that people feel greater self-esteem from the use of the Snoezelen room. To learn more about The Palace Gardens Homestead and the community’s specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please call Elizabeth Martinez at 305-247-0446.