The Cottages Blog

The Cottages were established on the theory of individualized care. No two residents are alike, so why should their care be alike? Residents needing Alzheimer’s or dementia care require special needs and the Cottages have developed a therapy specially made for them. Multisensory therapy supports those needing a wide range of dementia care with the tools required to allow them to once again connect with their environment in a safe, supportive setting.

What is Multisensory Therapy for People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Simply put, multisensory therapy uses everyday objects to trigger emotions and memories in people who have lost their ability to connect with the world around them due to medical conditions such as dementia. Developed in Europe in the 1960s to help people with learning disabilities, the therapy has since become so widespread that today it assists a wide range of conditions, including Alzheimer’s.

multi sensory therapy

While multisensory therapy is helpful at all stages of Alzheimer’s, it is especially beneficial during the late stages of the disease when seniors can no longer communicate with words. The therapy allows them to express themselves, helps them feel safe and relaxed and boosts their mood and self-esteem, creating an increased feeling of well-being.

How Can Sensory Therapy Benefit Your Loved One?

Our senses connect our minds to the world around us. While it’s typical for older adults to experience difficulties with some of the senses, a person living with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia will be more impacted. A loss of some of the senses can contribute to the confusion they are already feeling because of the disease. By stimulating the brain with sensory stimulation, someone living with Alzheimer’s could experience increased function.

Some benefits of sensory therapy include better communication between your loved one and caregivers, as well as between you and your loved ones, and an improved mood and higher self-esteem. People engaging in sensory therapy will also engage in their environment more and be more aware of the world around them.

Serenity Place at The Cottages

As part of The Cottage’s home-like environment, the new Serenity Place was designed to support and care for your loved one’s special needs. Multisensory therapy rooms like Serenity Place are also known as Snoezelen Rooms, based on the original concept developed by two Dutch therapists in the 1970s. The term “snoezelen” is a contraction of two Dutch verbs “snuffelen” (to seek and explore) and “doezelen” (to relax), which perfectly captures the cozy, relaxed atmosphere of these rooms that provide a safe space for residents to explore their environment.

Developed with memory care and cognitive support in mind, the multisensory therapy room helps your loved one cope with the anxiety that comes with memory loss. Serenity Place uses a variety of effects to activate all of the senses. From the soothing lavender scent wafting in the air to the relaxing, colorful lights that dance throughout the room, Serenity Place creates a sense of tranquility in a safe and therapeutic environment. Other effects include calming music, bubbles, interactive textures such as marble walls and objects like vibro-acoustic seats.

Serenity PlaceThe benefits seen in residents can be powerful. “Before we had Serenity Place, one of our memory-care residents was constantly nervous and paced throughout The Cottage all day – getting very little rest,” David Butero, Community Outreach Director, said. “After we introduced Serenity Place, she was one of the first residents to use it. We noticed immediate relief. While sitting in the room, she was able to relax and get some much-needed rest.” And the benefits last even after leaving the room, Butero said, as the resident went on to enjoy an afternoon in The Cottage’s living room.

Serenity Place is part of the larger residential experience at The Cottages. Lauded by caregivers, health professionals and residents alike for its welcoming, home-like environment where residents are given the space and support to find their own identity, The Cottages is designed for optimal dementia and Alzheimer’s care, from the inviting décor to how all paths lead back to the warm, cozy living room. The family-style dining room, cozy layout and private apartments all support the “Keep It Simple” approach to dementia care recommended by organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation and the Caregivers Foundation.

At The Cottages, you’ll find a cozy, Southern community that offers our loved one physical support within an active and welcoming environment. By offering regular opportunities to challenge the minds and nurture the hearts of your loved ones, we provide our residents the opportunity to achieve their desired quality of life.

Memory loss compounds the difficult job of caregiving, making it even more complicated and heartbreaking. We’re here to help with memory care that retains your loved one’s dignity, independence, and choice. Contact us to learn more about multisensory therapy at our Hoover and Montgomery locations of The Cottages and to see if this approach to therapy is right for your loved one. We’re here for you.

Michelle Kelley
Written by: Michelle Kelley

Michelle Haigler Kelley is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She and her husband Shane live in Pike Road with their daughters. She graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery and began her career in the senior care industry as an Activity Director before obtaining her Alabama Assisted Living Administrator License in 2014. “I have truly found my calling in life to work with our seniors. After all, they are considered the greatest generation,” says Michelle. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the lake.

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