If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and you're having a difficult time getting through to them, you might want to try sensory stimulation. Sensory stimulation works by stimulating the senses into initiating a response. The responses can be either verbal or non-verbal. Here are five simple steps you can take to introduce sensory stimulation to your loved one.
Introduce Unfamiliar Sensory Items
If your loved one is surrounded by items that are completely familiar, try introducing a few unfamiliar sensory items. Introducing new sensations can help elicit responses from your loved one that you might not get any other way. Some sensory items you can introduce include seashells of various sizes and textures, sand, and even gravel from a nearby garden.
Utilize Hand Massages
If your loved one is comfortable with touch, try utilizing hand massages as a form of sensory stimulation. Begin by massaging with skin-to-skin contact only. Once your loved one is comfortable with that, add a bit of lotion, which will change the sensation. Finally, try massaging your loved one's hands with materials of different textures, including terrycloth washcloths, and pieces of soft cloth.
Explore Natural Surroundings
If your loved one enjoys the outdoors, try exploring their natural surroundings. Choose paths that will provide the widest variety of sensory stimulation, such as rose gardens, tree-lined paths, and courtyards that include waterfalls, or ponds. The different sights, sounds, and smells will stimulate your loved one's senses, and help elicit responses.
Use Food for Sensory Stimulation
If your loved one isn't on a special diet, try using food as a form of sensory stimulation. Choose foods that have distinct flavors and textures to help arouse your loved one's taste buds. Make note of the foods and flavors that your loved one avoids, as well as those that they find enjoyable. That will help you plan future food-related sensory stimulation exercises.
Bring on the Music
If your loved one enjoys music, use sound as a way to stimulate their senses. Exploring the world through music is a great way to awaken senses that your loved one may have locked up. Don't settle for one genre of music, either. Explore a wide variety of musical genres while you're stimulating your loved one's senses. This should include classical, operatic, and even some contemporary choices. It's also a good idea to include music that was popular when your loved one was younger. You may be able to open a corner of their memory that was blocked off.
To learn more, contact a company like FABRIC FOR WELLNESS.