Sens-Aid, the blanket that hugs residents to improve their well-being
A new solution increases calmness and well-being of residents with physical or mental impairments in nursing homes. Sensory solutions are increasingly being applied in Danish nursing homes to promote social interaction and well-being of residents. At Sølund village in Skanderborg Municipality, in Central Denmark Region, the staff has implemented a new tool in their daily activities with residents who are mainly elderly citizens with physical or mental impairments. The tool is a weighted blanket, called SensAid, with six ‘wings’ that embrace the resident when seated. The wings stimulate the so-called tactile and proprioceptive senses; the body's sense of touch and position. They leave the resident with the feeling of being hugged, which triggers the hormone oxytocin, also called the ‘cuddle hormone’. When this hormone is released, the resident immediately senses a positive change in well-being, energy, calmness, and peace of mind. As such, the solution creates a comfort zone for the resident, and the staff have observed significant positive impact on the behavior of residents, some of whom are in their 80s. Many of them have developmental disabilities and are often very restless, and sometimes self-damaging, mostly in situations where they feel under pressure, such as the daily brushing of teeth. When residents use the stimulating blanket, they are much calmer, more tolerant, and able to participate in social activities with other residents and staff.