Apr 17, 2018

Sensory experiences in aged care: “We often underestimate the power of our senses”

If you have visited Braemar Cooinda in Melville recently; you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into a beautiful forest thanks to new wall decals in the facilities’ lifts.

Linking the various floors at Cooinda, the lifts were originally installed in a standard stainless steel cladding.

However resident feedback suggested a preference for something more decorative, leading to Braemar investigating ways in which to improve the sensory experience for those living at Cooinda.

Sensory stimulation can connect people to our distant memories and happy times. Additionally, as people age, their vision can be challenged; while consideration needed to be taken to support those living with Dementia at Braemar.

“In going about our daily lives we often underestimate the power of our senses and if an environment is cold or clinical it frightens us and can provoke anxiety.

Bright colours and pictures can stimulate ageing eyes and alleviate some of this anxiety.” Comments Michelle Harris-Allsop, Dementia Consultant at Care Partnerships Australia.

greenery lift

Photographic images of a forest-scene inside the elevators at Braemar Cooinda aims to address these issues; with the vibrant green colours bringing a sense of peace and relaxation as people enter and exit the lifts.

“New imagery at Braemar Cooinda provides stimulation, promotes conversation and creative expression which is important for people living with a cognitive disability such as Dementia,” comments Ms. Harris-Allsop.

“The sounds of the doors closing and the movement in the lift can create anxiety for some people living with dementia. Removing the institutional images of a cold and bold elevator space and inserting these beautiful images of the outside world brings a sense of joy and peace.”

Ms. Harris-Allsop, who has over a decade of experience in supporting those living with Dementia, assisted Braemar in the selection of the decal imagery.

She says that people living with a cognitive disability such as dementia live in the moment, and advocates creating a special experience via pictures, touch, smell, taste or hearing’ which be reassuring and help a person with dementia to feel included in a conversation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Pledging Support for Aged Care

IN A NORTH Queensland aged care facility, a nurse is helping an elderly resident. The Enrolled Nurse of 30 years bathes the woman, puts on a fresh nightie and smooths back her hair. She talks to the mother-of-four who was born in the 1930s and lived through the second World War. She discusses the weather,... Read More

Tips for Managing Dementia in a Loved One

As a little girl, I was very close to my great- grandfather. When he passed away, he had our entire family at his bedside. In his final moments, as he looked around the room, his eyes fell upon me and he fondly spoke his final words to me, “I love you, Doll”. Though I was... Read More

Dial an Angel: A Story of a Mother and her Daughter

An Idea that Stuck My mum had me in October 1966, after which she was very ill. I was the third child – my mum also had a six year old, a three year old and now a brand new baby. She had no family support, having moved from Brisbane to Sydney. And she really... Read More
Advertisement