Sensory Room for People Living With Dementia

“Our patients are sometimes in very anxious or distressed states of mind and using the room for tailored groups and one to one sessions has enabled us to enhance mood and reduce anxiety. We’ve tried to make the room multi-sensory, the patients really enjoy the different sensations in the room, the rocking chair, the smells from the aroma diffuser, tactile items and sounds such as the rainmaker and ocean drum.” Fiona, Senior Occupational Therapist, Iris Ward.

Research has shown that sensory rooms which provide gentle stimulation of the senses can enhance feelings of comfort and well-being and relieve stress and levels of pain for people living with dementia. Soft textiles, familiar everyday objects, interesting things to smell and taste as well as sound and movement all have an important part to play, maximising a person’s potential to focus and helping to improve their communication and memory.

Iris ward in Horsham Hospital treats people who have moderate to advanced dementia. Staff there have utilised Heads On funds to make huge improvements to their sensory room, purchasing items such as a rocking chair, tactile cushions, soft blankets, dolls and music players. Service users have reacted really positively to the new room and equipment, enjoying the calm and peaceful space that has been created. Using the CD players to play soothing music, or people’s favourite music has improved the wellbeing of the people on the ward and has enhanced their engagement during personal care and mealtimes.

How you can help

Whether you make a donation, attend an event or fundraise for us, every penny will help make life better for people with mental health problems.