Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I start planning a Sensory or Soft Play Environment?

• Discuss the purpose of the environment with staff
• Gain their commitment and enthusiasm for the project
• Assess client needs and who would benefit most
• Consider a suitable area or dedicated room
• Contact SensoryPlus to request a no obligation demonstration and to discuss your needs further.

2. How do I know if ‘sensory’ will be appropriate for my potential users?

• If your establishment works with children or adults with learning difficulties, challenging behaviour, autism, neurological conditions, dementia or head injuries or those suffering from restlessness, agitation or aggressive behaviour, then benefit can be gained from one or a combination of the sensory approaches
• Pre and Post-operative care in hospitals for adults and children.

3. How much space will I need?

• Sensory and Soft Play environments can be established within relatively limited areas. If a dedicated room is not available then an ideal alternative is the Sensory-in-a-Suitcase or Portable Qualia Unit in dayrooms or individual use for those who are bed-bound. Sensory activity is only limited by imagination – all you need is access to an electrical socket! And sometimes not even that!

4. What can I use the Sensory environment for?

• Assessments, tracking and visual stimulation
• Sound and music therapy
• Cause and effect switching activities
• Aromatherapy, reflexology, reminiscence, rest and relaxation, interaction and communication
• Reduce stress, tension and aggression
• Calming effect on the restless and agitated.

5. What will it take to operate a Sensory or Soft Play environment?

Areas to consider:

• A member of staff to take responsibility for the room/area, its contents and its use
• Willingness by staff to use the facilities
• Resolve to continue to maintain and develop the area after the first enthusiasm has worn off
• Ongoing commitment and training for new and existing staff in work such as massage, aromatherapy and reminiscence
• Policies covering the environment’s use, availability to users, arrangements for booking either group or individual activities.

6. Are there any areas for concern in using sensory?

• For the majority there will be no adverse affects, however, it is worth bearing in mind that it may not be appropriate for everyone.

Key signs include:

• Individuals who express a dislike for the area or any of the equipment
• Staff who may feel uncomfortable about the physical contact relaxation and stimulation work can involve.
• Signs of inappropriate behaviour
• Anxiety about the equipment/environment amongst relatives.

7. How much will it cost?

• It varies depending on the size, space, equipment chosen and desired aims for the environment.