Multi-Sensory Sessions for People with Alzheimer’s Disease 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. With this in mind, Fine Art Miracles, Inc. 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, with the following demonstrated 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 Multi-Sensory program, testing and evaluating methodology, documenting results and developing best practices. FAM has created a library of sessions, each with a theme, reflected in an array of sensory items, music, aroma, the sensory covering and the social robot’s conversation. Designed to work with 4 – 5 participants, a sessions typically last for an hour or more.