Existing cognitive capacities can be maintained for as long as possible by providing regular stimulation for Alzheimer’s patients through specially structured activities.
Various activities are offered in addition to rehabilitation sessions with physiotherapists, both at home and in the care home facility. Sessions with speech therapists are available for individuals with speech or swallowing disorders along with occupational therapy provided by sector professionals employed full-time by nursing homes.
The senses are stimulated via the olfactory memory through aromatherapy and the therapeutic garden, or via the gustatory/taste memory through cooking workshops.
Reminiscence therapy is also provided through music which can trigger countless memories. Singing workshops and music therapy encourage many patients to start singing even when they can no longer speak.
What is a sensory space or Snoezelen room in a nursing home?
Based on the Holland model, the Snoezelen approach combines sensory discovery and relaxation. Snoezelen rooms are an innovative concept, which is becoming increasingly popular in care homes. They provide much sought-after areas for relaxation, comfort and development, which are vital for the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease amongst others.
Individuals with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, still retain all of their sensory functions as the disease progresses. This fills numerous gaps. Within the nursing home sensory setting, residents will feel confident because of the prevailing calm, reassuring atmosphere. Alzheimer's patients are prone to certain anxieties which often disappear as they relax in these areas devoted to well-being and revitalising the senses.
These areas, which have been studied extensively, are equipped with various facilities offering an interplay of music, light and texture to give residents unique olfactory, visual and auditory experiences. Subdued lighting, soft music and light variations stimulate vision alongside essential oils and perfumes to stimulate the sense of smell. As the senses are reawakened, the memory is also revived, and long-lost memories come to the fore. The sessions are guided by a care home professional but the wishes and initiatives of individual residents are also taken on board. Even a seriously ill patient can regain some form of independence in this secure space.
Moreover, the sessions allow individuals with various conditions to re-establish pleasant contact with the outside world and to experience pleasure despite having a disability that is often difficult to manage and accept on a daily basis.
The benefits of therapeutic workshops and art therapy
More and more nursing homes are offering a variety of therapeutic activities to residents with Alzheimer's disease.
These range from the famous "themed memory boxes" containing all manner of old objects to animal therapy which encourages contact and emotion, not forgetting other activities such as gardening, art and music.
Based on sensory and reminiscence therapy, these treatments evoke the sensory memory, which remains very vivid despite the condition.
These non-medicinal therapeutic approaches help to reduce anxiety and behavioural problems whilst improving quality of life for patients and their families.
Trained nursing home staff
This is a training course on the role of the dementia specialist intended for nursing home and care home staff to ensure personalised and appropriate follow-up for disoriented patients.
In addition to extensive training, nursing home staff are experienced in providing optimum care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease.
At Senior Home Plus, our elderly care advisors help families find a care home that matches their criteria perfectly and can provide appropriate care for residents with Alzheimer's disease.
Do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 608 0055.
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