Aditi Arora, Wellness Leader and diversional therapist at Village at the Park in Wellington thought she could do something more for their residents.
Village at the Park, part of Arvida Group, converts their hairdresser room into a sensory room that their residents can enjoy. Sensory rooms are designed to stimulate the senses of hearing, sight, touch and smell.
“It is a place where people explore and develop their sensory skills, but also where they can relax and relieve stress and anxiety,” says Aditi.
“For tactile stimulation for example we have sheepskin, some sand, a soft blanket and a stress ball. We have some fairy lights for visual stimulation or we project something on the wall. If residents just want to relax, we play waterfall streaming, or the seabed, or some ocean waves.”
Aditi has found published research that says time spent in a multi-sensory environment has been shown to increase concentration, focus attention, improve alertness, awaken memories, and to improve mobilisation, creativity, social relations and communications, and general awareness of the surrounding world. This is commonly being used in aged residential homes and dementia care facilities for therapeutic and recreational purposes.
Aditi, a recent Careerforce apprenticeship graduate, realised that there are some residents who preferred staying in their rooms. She thought, ‘why not bring the experience to them?’
She has placed sensory room items in a box and has everything to re-create a sensory room in the residents’ own room.
“To begin with our team has put a small projector which displays live waterfall and fairy lights for sight; a small ukulele and keyboard piano for sound; rugby ball and stress ball for touch therapy; and essential oils and diffuser for the smell.”
Aditi’s ‘sensory room in a box’ won her the 2019 Therapy Box Scholarship. She won a ticket to attend the New Zealand Diversional Therapy Conference in August, 2 nights accommodation in Auckland where the conference is being held and a $50 prezzy card voucher.
She is very excited to attend the conference on 9-11 August. The Therapy Box is also helping her to fine tune her idea, so it can be added to their Activity Library to become accessible to other aged care facilities.
Careerforce is a proud sponsor of the Up Beat 2019 NZSDRT National Conference. The conference dinner includes a graduation ceremony for graduates of the Careerforce Apprenticeship in Community Facilitation specialising in Diversional Therapy.
For more information about the apprenticeship for diversional therapists or activities coordinators, please visit the Careerforce website.