Multi-Sensory Sessions for People with Alzheimers and Dementia
Experience has taught that we can’t just continue trying to pull Memory Care residents into our world in an effort to get them to do something that makes sense to us, but rather, we need to find ways to enter their world and journey with them where they are. Therefore, Fine Art Miracles, Inc. now offers a Multi- Sensory experience that combines aroma therapy, music, a sensory covering (like an activity blanket, but with memory inducing themes), and a social robot (to stimulate memory and conversation). This four-pronged approach provides in the moment engagement, which our pilot program demonstrated has the following benefits:
Aroma therapy and music, relieve stress and stimulate memories
Sensory Coverings stimulate memories and conversation; help with range of motion and fine and gross motor skills, provide visual stimulation, and prompt verbalizations
Social Robots decrease inhibition, provide companionship and memory stimulation, increase verbalization and they bring out a maternal/nurturing spirit
Smaller groups of participants allow for one-on-one, in the moment engagement; and,
Participation in regular Multi-Sensory sessions produces lasting reductions in stress and inhibition.
When scheduled in the morning, these sessions motivate participants to burn more energy, allowing them to move more easily into their next purposeful activities throughout the day.
With the generous support of the Jewish Health Care Foundation and the Buhl Foundation, in 2017 FAM completed a pilot program, testing and evaluating methodology, documenting results and developing best practices. FAM designed dozens of sessions in a series of 6 months of weekly visits to two Memory Care sites. Each session has a theme, reflected in an array of sensory items, music, aroma, the sensory covering and the robot’s conversation. Designed to work with 4 – 5 participants, a session can last from 20 minutes to an hour or more.
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It has been awesome to work with you. Your program is so amazing, touches so many people in ways I couldn’t even begin to hope to be able to do!
Courtney Weaver ADC/MC, Meadowcrest