Snoezelen Therapy: Dementia and Alzheimer´s Disease in Canada

1522 WordsFeb 2, 20186 Pages
In long term care homes in Canada, the Alzheimer Society states that there are more than 500,000 people who have been diagnosed with dementia. (Alzheimer, 2012, p,1) This is a disease that affects one’s brain and is characterized by “changes in the cognitive, psychomotor, emotional and behavioural domains” (Cruz, Marques, Barbosa, Figueiredo, & Sousa, 2011, p.282) of the brain. There has been research done more recently that suggests that a new technology called multi-sensory therapy or Snoezelen therapy may be able to maintain or improve some of the remaining abilities in a patient suffering from dementia such as self-care or communication. Multi-sensory, or interchangeably Snoezelen therapy was developed in the 1970’s by therapists working to find treatments for those with mental illness. “Their intention was to provide people who had sensory and learning disabilities the opportunity for relaxation and leisure experience.” (Burns, Cox, & Plant, 2000, p.120) The concept of Snoezelen aims to stimulate senses without the need for one to take part in intellectual activity. It also offers patients a ‘failure-free’ approach suggesting that there is no pressure to achieve or succeed. (Burns, et al., 2000, p. 120) To stimulate the senses, Snoezelen uses mixtures of light, smells, taste, and touch accessed through one’s sensory organs being the mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and skin. With the introduction of Snoezelen into the realm of long-term care and dementia, the aim is to

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