For people living with dementia, awareness and memory become compromised. However, the five senses allow us to process stimuli within our environment(s) at any given moment. From sounds to visual images, tastes to scents, or the tactile feelings that exhilarate and excite, sensorial activities can work as positive triggers to spur conversations, elicit interaction, and bridge connections with friends or family members with dementia.
Stimulating Sensory Perception
Humans are constantly inundated with stimuli every second of the day, however for someone living with dementia, the synapses in the brain are diminishing and awareness dwindles. Dementia eventually leads to memory loss, the inability to communicate, and even limitations in mobility. All of these events can have a debilitating effect on mood, self-esteem, and overall temperament or personality. However, sensorial activities, such as a light massage with a scented lotion or candle, listening to relaxing music, or taking an outdoor stroll during a warm day, can turn into a wonderful or meaningful interaction or shared experience. Linking activities to sensory stimulation is most successful when tapping into prior interests, hobbies, or pastimes that the person with dementia had prior to the development of the condition.
Sensory stimulation is intended to bring joy, reduce anxiety and depression, and elicit engagement. Data also suggests that sensory perception improves cognition and contributes to improved daily function, encourages socialisation and yields more effort at communication, and provides better opportunities for increased concentration, focus, alertness and awareness. As one dementia blogger put it, “Reminiscing can sometimes be difficult for someone living with dementia as the ability to recollect memories is not as simple as it used to be. As our senses often play a huge part in the creation of memories, stimulating the senses can often help bring those memories back.”1
Luckily, there are many products that exist which can evoke positive memories and emotions, while also encouraging interaction. Particularly in the latter stages of dementia when cognitive impairments are the most heightened or perceptible, igniting the senses allows for a more instinctual and automatic trigger to lift wellbeing.
Sensorial Activities & Products that Profit People with Dementia
Five different senses; many different sensory activities for people with dementia; with one amazing outcome — stimulation! While there are many products on the market specifically for people living with dementia, here are some that stand out which are expressly tailored to the different stages of dementia progression, as well as the five senses:
For more information on more of our sensory-stimulating and perception-pleasing products for people living with dementia or other memory loss conditions, please visit https://www.Relish-life.com to view our digital catalog or even download our free app for families and caregivers.
1 Abbeyfield Blog, Abbeyfield: Making Time for Older People, https://www.abbeyfield.com/blog/the-importance-of-sensory-activities-for-those-living-with-dementia/, Blog section.