Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers

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Your Guide to Understanding Sensory Therapy


In this modern age, the types of therapies available have evolved to affect more than just physical and mental aspects of a senior’s life. One new type of senior therapy often used in senior services is sensory therapy. Understanding sensory therapy is important to see the impact it has in particular seniors with Alzheimer’s.

What Is Sensory Therapy?

This new type of therapy can help keep seniors’ five senses active if they are beginning to lose them. Sensory therapy exposes patients to a stimulation of the senses in a repetitive and organized way. Treatments often include balance, movement, and structured treatments.

Some of the senses this therapy treats include:

  • Visual sensitivity: Help with under- or oversensitivity to light or visuals
  • Tactile sensitivity: Aid with over- or under-sensitivity to touch
  • Noise sensitivity: Cope with high senses of noise

How does sensory therapy work for seniors? Therapists try to engage one or more of the senses through ordinary objects to help evoke positive feelings.

Understanding Sensory Therapy

Traditional therapy helps many seniors every day, but for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, this new type of therapy helps keep their mind active through the senses. Having a senior with dementia participate in sensory therapy can help promote memory retention.

Big improvements

Therapists have seen an impact on self-esteem, mood, and well-being in their patients undergoing the therapy. Dementia often prevents seniors from expressing themselves with words, so sensory therapy allows them to communicate what they are feeling.

Help with memories

Similar to horticultural therapy, seniors begin to remember things due to the sensory activities they do in therapy. When their senses are active, a touch of something or a smell can trigger a past activity they remember doing.

Activities for Sensory Therapy

The activities therapists use with their senior patients helps with understanding sensory therapy. It can be simple, repetitive activities but they make a huge impact on the patient's mind.

Some examples of sensory therapy activities are:

  • Hand massages
  • Reading aloud to seniors
  • Playing with sand or clay
  • Taking a short walk

These activities help to stimulate each of the senses and keep the patient active throughout the therapy session.

New Therapies at Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers

Our mission at Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers is to help our patients with the latest in therapies and treatments. In our Expressions Program, we offer our seniors the chance to stay active through sensory therapy and other types of therapies. Visit us today to see our treatments in action!