Snoezelen® Sensory Room

The Snoezelen® concept was developed in the 1970's by Dutch therapists as a result of research regarding the effects on participants in a sensory-deprived environment. The study found that when placed in a sensory environment, patients are stimulated and may often overcome challenges. St. Mary's Home and Villa Lakeside both feature these sensory stimulation rooms.

Felician Village was the first long term care provider to offer this innovation in Manitowoc County. Three portable carts with similar sensory items are also available to use throughout the Felician Village campus in resident rooms.

Snoezelen involves the direct and indirect stimulation of the primary senses and provides a failure-free, no demands for rules or memory, alternative way to interact. 

Stimulation of the following senses occur with use of:

  • Touch: tactile board, panels and balls
  • Taste: aromatherapy may stimulate the appetite
  • Sight: optic fiber spray, projector, mirror ball and spot light, bubble tube, infinity panel
  • Sound: relaxation tapes, vibration and white noise, water and nature sounds
  • Smell: aromatherapy, perfumes and aftershave 

The Snoezelen sensory room has many benefits:

  • Engagement: provides a safe and predictable environment where a connection and trust can be developed between staff and residents
  • Relaxation: the environment is described as magical, peaceful, soothing and surreal. It can reduce stress, agitation, irritability, frustration and anxiety, as well as, induce sleep
  • Distraction: helps the resident focus his or her attention during difficult times (such as bathing or changing of shift) and provides the resident with repetitive behaviors, a healthier alternative to increased medication
  • Socialization: provides the opportunity of socialization for residents who don't enjoy being in groups
  • Comfort: for both residents and their family. It is primarily experienced one-to-one but it is also successful with another person or two. Families enjoy visiting with a loved one in the room and may receive the same benefits as the resident
  • Stimulation: increases the resident's energy and ability to receive therapy
  • Relief: helps manage pain
  • Communication: provides an alternative method of connecting for the resident that has lost the ability to communicate verbally by using their senses
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