Sensory stimulation for Alzheimer's patients and people with other forms of dementia has been shown to decrease agitation and restlessness, as well as improve sleep.
These symptoms are very common in most forms of dementia, and certainly in people with Alzheimer's, so sensory stimulation translates as improved quality of life for the patient as well as for the caregiver.
Sensory stimulation can be thought, quite simply, to be anything that stimulates one of our five senses. It is easy to create things from objects found around the house that will provide an endless variety of stimulation to any and all of the senses. Also remember that the things that give all of us pleasure, music and visual arts, good movies, a funny joke or story, give pleasure also to people with dementia.
- Sight (Visual Stimulation) – Vision is our most important sense, the one through which we gain most of our information....(more)
- Hearing (Auditory Stimulation) – Our ears probably provides us with our second most vibrant source of sensory stimulation. (more)
- Smell (Olfactory Stimulation – Some of our strongest memories, our most potent associations, are triggered by odor. (more)
- Taste (Gustatory Stimulation) – In many ways taste is the most pleasurable of our senses, depending on how much emphasis one puts on food and eating.(more)
- Touch (Tactile Stimulation) – Anything touched and anything that touches us can be stimulating. Every solid object has texture, temperature, shape. (more)
We use our nervous system in two other ways to gather information about our environment.
- Proprioceptive Stimulation is closely related to tactile stimulation, and is otherwise a little hard to define. Basically it is the sensory feedback that informs us where the parts of our body are and how they are moving. So, a stroll through the forest on a beautiful autumn day would not only involve visual, auditory, and olfactory stimulation, but also propreoceptive stimulation and...
- Vestibular Stimulation, which is related to and dependant on the proprioceptive system. The vestibular system is what gives us balance, allows us to stand and move through space without falling over. It is dependant on feedback from the visual, auditory, and tactile system.
A range of Gel Sensory Stimulation products are now available from HealthSaver.