Residents of the dementia suite at a Kingston care home have had their lives enhanced by a new sensory room.
The facility at Coombe Hill Manor care home, part of the Signature Group, uses multi-sensory, immersive technology to create a space that is specifically tuned to the needs of people living with dementia.
The technology in the room includes colour-changing fibre optic lights and a high-specification projector. This is used to create tranquil scenes, stimulate positive memories by taking residents back to past places, stage music performances and to connect residents with family members via Skype. The projector is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing family visitors to display photos and videos using their own devices to help recreate memories and foster relationships.
Alongside the technological interventions, there are also plenty of soft textiles and tactile materials, natural items such as dry twigs and a fireplace that is lit to look like a real fire. Incorporating these features was important for familiarity and comfort, providing a warm and intimate atmosphere and making the space informal, homely and conducive to relaxation.
A guide for carers and care homes has been published on the subject of How to make a sensory room for people living with dementia. The room at Coombe Hill Manor puts into practice many of the guide’s recommendations.