The Cottages Blog

How Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments Benefit People with Dementia

Posted by Michelle Kelley on Nov 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM


About Snoezelen Rooms

Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments offers sensory therapy, which is a type of therapy that was developed for people with cognitive a developmental disabilities. A Snoezelen Room is a therapeutic environment with a relaxed atmosphere that has several different levels of stimuli specifically chosen for people who have dementia. Soothing touch, sight, sound, and smell experiences can all be found in the Room.

These Rooms are safe, mood-enhancing places where people with Alzheimer’s and dementia can experience interesting and fun lighting effects, soothing aromas and colors, and fun textures and sounds. They provide people with dementia the opportunity to interact and engage with the world around them in a safe but stimulating way.

The Benefits of Sensory Therapy

Better Communication Between the Resident and the Caregiver

This type of therapy can grow the trust of a resident with the people who are closest to them. Many say that it can deepen the relationship between residents and caregivers. These Rooms help to reduce their fears by stimulating all of the senses. The environment inside the Room helps to enhance verbal and non-verbal communication between residents and their caregivers.

Increased Knowledge and Understanding of the Environment

Residents who go into the Rooms get a controlled stream of stimuli that helps to increase their awareness and their understanding of their surroundings. While the average person may touch close to 300 difference surfaces in a half hour, a person with advanced dementia may touch only about three different surfaces in the same amount of time. In this type of environment, they are able to touch and interact with several different, interesting things around them.

Improved Mood and Behavior

Studies have shown that this type of therapy has a calming effect on aggressive behavior due to advanced forms of dementia. The soothing environment inside the Room can help to reduce tension and feelings of confusion in residents who have dementia. Reducing these types of feelings plays a huge role in calming residents who may be prone to angry outbursts and aggressive behavior.

Higher Self-Esteem

With an elevated sense of awareness of the environment around them, residents tend to experience a raise in their self-esteem as well. It is thought that understanding one’s surroundings helps the individual to gain back a certain sense of self. One study even found a 75 percent reduction in self-injury in patients with dementia.


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Topics: Senior Health Care, Science and Technology

Michelle Kelley

Written by: Michelle Kelley

Michelle Haigler Kelley is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She and her husband Shane live in Pike Road with their daughters. She graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery and began her career in the senior care industry as an Activity Director before obtaining her Alabama Assisted Living Administrator License in 2014. “I have truly found my calling in life to work with our seniors. After all, they are considered the greatest generation,” says Michelle. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the lake.