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The Top 5 Benefits of Sensory Stimulation for Dementia

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Sensory stimulation is often used to help seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s because it can help them stay in the moment and interact with the world around them. By offering different ways to communicate and engaging all 5 senses, seniors can improve daily functioning and cognitive symptoms.

Many senior living communities are helping residents engage in sensory stimulation as part of a holistic therapy approach. Studies have shown that sensory stimulation can provide a variety of benefits to seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s when done on a regular basis. There are a variety of ways to engage in sensory stimulation, and it’s helpful to use a combination when working with seniors.

The top five overall benefits of sensory stimulation include:

  1. Increased levels of concentration
  2. Improved communication through all 5 senses
  3. Conjuring up past experiences and happy memories
  4. Improved mood, self-esteem, and overall well-being
  5. Better participation in socializing and activities with peers

Sensory stimulation uses everyday objects, foods, sounds and other things to awaken the senses and elicit a positive response or feelings.

Ways to Incorporate Sensory Stimulation

Seniors who have lost their ability to connect with the world around them can benefit hugely from sensory stimulation because it allows them an opportunity to connect in other positive ways. Whether alone, in therapy or with family members, sensory stimulation can be used to trigger thoughts, memories or feelings that would otherwise be buried below the surface.

Just some of the ways therapists incorporate sensory stimulation for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s include:

  • Familiar and favorite foods
  • Clothing from old memories
  • Natural elements including flowers and herbs
  • Hand massage
  • Going for a walk in a familiar location
  • Reading favorite books out loud
  • Presenting new objects they may not normally see
  • Brushing hair, trimming nails or doing spa treatments
  • Spending time with pets or small animals

If you are looking for a way to help your loved one with sensory stimulation, consider making a sensory box for your next visit. Fill a small shoebox with sentimental items you have from home and share it at your next visit. Include family photos, jewelry, keychains, ornaments and more. Bring their favorite music on your phone for them to listen to, or familiar voices. Plan a spa day of pampering that includes a massage, a manicure, and a hairstyle. Whatever you can do to take your loved one out of their normal routine and stimulate their senses could have a positive impact.

A Truly Exceptional Approach to Memory Care at Peregrine Senior Living

Peregrine Senior Living is taking great strides to exceed and transform expectations about the traditional aging process. Through the Peregrine Way, we identify opportunities to engage long-term memory and use the past to help create a more meaningful future. Let us help you make more meaningful connections with your loved one through our unique memory care programming. Learn more about Peregrine Senior Living and schedule a tour of one of our beautiful campuses by contacting us today.

Written by
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

More Articles By
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

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