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Sensory Stimulation


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Hello :hammer:

Sensory stimulation is sometimes the only activity which I can give to some of our residents due to their cognitive deficits (loss). I give hand and foot massages, head massages (or comb hair) shoulder massages, I use nature sounds (music and bird calls, water trickling waves of the sea etc)

relaxing videos with soundscapes. cooking or just making bread in the electric bread maker (the wafting smell of bread) .

what sort of things do you do? :-)

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Hi, Bobbie! :-)


We do pretty much the same thing as you do. I have assembled several kits (e.g. scents, textures, sounds etc.). We have to be a bit careful about massages but provide those also. If there are more ideas out there I would certainly be interested in hearing about them.


Linda Lucas, AD ;-)



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  • 3 weeks later...

I am big into this, especially in the alzheimers unit. I have used many different things including massage, lights animals and manipulation of the environment. I also use a ton of aromatherapy, not only to eliminate some of the odors that come with the facility, but to keep the residents calm, healthy, etc.




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:hammer: I would like some aromatherapy ideas. I use a bread machine, but everytime I try to use things like simmering pots or other items like that, I get the DON telling me that things like this are not allowed. I have a sound/smell machine, but it doesnt seem to put out much of a scent. Is there anything else I can use??

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  • 3 months later...

Hi, I need helo with some new and fresh ideas for my low level sensorty stimulation group. I have about 8 programs i have been using over and over and could sure use some new ideas. Thanks, Salgal

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I'm not sure what you're already doing, but there are many different things to do! One that we've done much success is an "Apple" program. We talk about apples, where they're grown, did the resident have apple trees, what are some different varieties, what can you use them for, etc. I also bring w/ to the group a few apples, usually a few red, & a few green. If it works w/in their diets (for chewing/swallowing) I will cut up the apples for smelling & tasting. I've also served apple juice or cider and applesauce. This is always a fun one!



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Have you try doing a color for the month with sight sound taste and smell. IE green grass green jello lime ask question about the color if there is a song with the color in title the list could go on forever.

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  • 7 months later...

I have 3 LTC Residents who are diagnosed as in a Semi-vegetative state. They range in age from 22 to 56. I am looking for some innovative ideas for Sensory Stimulation. As of now my program includes, aroma therapy, Sound identifiation, Music therapy with light massage, grooming, seasonal sounds and scents, and what I call imagination vacation where I slowly describe a place or theme and take them on a journey in their minds. I have been doing these same programs repeatedly for 8 years. They must be old hat and pretty boring to my residents by now. Does anyone know of an Internet Site with ideas on this topic or have programs that work for you. I'd love to hear from you and thanks!

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Guest Reiki Master

Try getting some Reiki or Thearaputic Touch volunteers. Look up Reiki for patients on the web and then look up Reiki in your town. Call them and ask if they have any volunteers that are willing to do Reiki Healing Touch on your residents.


Reiki is very relaxing and can be healing. It can never do harm on any one so what do you have to loose?


Im in California and I do Reiki on my Hospice patients. But I use to be an Activities Director for 7 years.


Much Luck,


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