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Scotia Heights in Stoke-on-Trent, has recently developed their sensory room to include better facilities for service users.
Service User Ambassador for Scotia Heights, Kyle, cut the ribbon. He said: “It did take some thinking for me to become ambassador for the service users at Scotia – I have never been the most confident – but the thanks go to the team at Scotia for giving me the opportunity to speak up for those who can’t. Changes have already been made, such as the redevelopment of the sensory room, and because of the fast turnaround on my suggestions already, I am more than happy to continue.”
So, what is a sensory room (or garden)? Sensory rooms and gardens can help to develop an individual’s senses through lighting, sound, objects and scent. For those with dementia, learning and neuro disabilities, sensory impairments and even mental health conditions, the sensory space can stimulate senses and bring back memories which may provide comfort, improve behaviour or encourage movement in some way. Recent research has shown humans interact with around 300 different surfaces every 30 minutes, but those with conditions such as dementia or other cognitive impairments may only come into contact with three surfaces. This is why sensory rooms and gardens are important – they provide a safe way for people with complex disabilities to interact with their surroundings, and develop trusting relationships with support workers.
Kyle closed his speech with a reminder as to why developing communication methods and senses are so important within care settings, “It is important for service users to have their opinions heard and be valued, as care homes are their home – if I can be the voice for them, at least I know I am helping to make a difference for others, not just myself.”
Alongside the re-opening, a coffee and cake afternoon was open to all. Delicious treats were provided and all proceeds contributed will be put forward to the service users fund. This fund pays for additional social activities or purchases which can improve their experience within the home.