Snoezelen is a form of non-directive therapy used for our sensory stimulation programs for residents who have cognitive dissonance. Discovered in the 1970’s by two Dutch therapists named Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul, their goal was to successfully increase enjoyment and relaxation by developing a new sensory experience for those with cognitive dissonance. The experiment was successful and received positive responses from both verbal and non-verbal patients.
The way to properly make a Snoezelen program work, a resident must be in a soothing and stimulating environment. The Snoezelen room is usually dark and contains lighting effects, colour, scent, sounds, texture, and music. Bay Haven has sensory equipment specifically designed to stimulate various senses to the residents. The residents at Bay Haven love our sensory music, videos, 1.5 metre Bubble Tube, and our cascade of fibre optics!
An advantage of Snoezelen therapy is that it does not rely heavily on verbal communication and it is extremely beneficial for people with autism, as well as others who are not so cognitive. The beautiful aspect of Snoezelen is that it provides stimulation to those that found it mentally impossible to reach before. Snoezelen allows residents to reach those previously unattainable goals.
The Snoezelen environment and various equipment are effective because they implement the relaxation process, reducing residents’ physical and emotional anxiety, and pain. It aims to maximize a person’s potential to focus on his or her own self and to engage a motivational stimulus through objects or activities, ultimately improving their communication, functioning, and learning capabilities. All these beneficial factors are extraordinarily healthy for the residents, and that is exactly what Bay Haven wants to strive for.
Some of the most rewarding aspects for implementing Snoezelen at Bay Haven is that we get to witness residents who are not cognitive improving their overall senses, touch, and attentiveness. It is always nice to see improvement with our residents because that is the kind of high-quality care that we practice daily.
Bay Haven’s sensory stimulation program offers a great amount of sensory resources for our residents, and in order to provide the best quality care possible, we will continue to practice and improve on Snoezelen in order to provide the most satisfying and healthy results for our residents.
Marco Sanfilippo — Marketing Specialist/Recreation Assistant