Sensory stimulation improves the well-being of people with dementia
Ambient application of sound, light, natural scenery, and other images can create a peaceful environment in nursing homes and improve the well-being of residents with dementia. In Vejen Municipality, the nursing home Kærdalen has experienced how a mobile device for sensory stimulation, that displays relaxing nature-scenery films, has improved the quality of life for its residents with dementia. The device is a cabinet on wheels mounted with a projector, a sound system, and a control panel to navigate the different films/programs. While it is mostly used in the public areas of the nursing home, its portability allows it to be used in the residents’ own apartments as well. The displays and music are specially designed to calm and stimulate people suffering from anxiety, creating a positive distraction. “One of our residents is very restless and extremely sensitive to external impulses and stimuli. She often needs professional help to rest during the day. This ambient device creates moments of peacefulness, making her calmer and improving her quality of life.” – Sigrid Rindom, Group Leader, Dementia Department, Kærdalen, Vejen Municipality. Overall, the device has had a significant effect on residents who feel restless. Relatives have also made positive observations, stressing that the natural images and sounds work as a calming catalyst and a subject for conversations.