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Sensory Stimulation for Dementia

Sensory integration dysfunction may also be called sensory processing disorder. Difficulty taking in or interpreting sensory information has many negative effects on ADLs, self-esteem, behavior, and relationships. It also creates a great safety risk. Humans have many sensations, including movement, touch, sight, sound, the pull of gravity, and body awareness. Sensory integration is a method of helping the brain interpret sensory stimuli from the environment. It is believed to form the foundation for more complex learning.

A sensory integration program focuses on basic senses that are essential responses and protective mechanisms for survival:

  • Tactile - Pressure, temperature, pain and touch
  • Vestibular - Balance
  • Proprioception - Where the body is in relation to its surroundings; these senses provide protection reactions necessary for survival