Sensory Concepts for Senior Care
Start your journey to a happier, healthier care setting for residents and staff alike.
What is Qualia?
"Qualia" is a concept that is aimed at improving care and quality of life for the older person and differs quite radically from "Snoezelen" or other multi-sensory theories, which are traditionally intended for children and adults with learning difficulties. It often involves the creation of a Qualia Room specifically designed with Senior users in mind.
A Qualia Room should be a calm, relaxing and non-threatening environment which is a platform for productive and positive work with senses.
It's all about conversation...
The use of Qualia promotes opportunities for relationships to be manintained and opens new avenues for interaction and conversation. We all know it's good to talk, but sometimes it can be difficult, especially if responses are limited when attempting to engage with residents in the same manner day in, day out. Qualia provides staff with the tools to facilitate conversation and encourage individuals to reminisce about past experiences, while the calm atmosphere of a Qualia Room reassures but equally supports more spontaneous, personalised communication.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of Qualia are numerous and can be felt by everyone involved in its use. Whether you decide to create an entire Qualia Room for residents to enjoy, or simply acquire a basic sensory toolkit for your staff to use and incorporate into care plans, you will undoubtedly see a distinct improvement across all areas of your service.
- Soothing and safe
- Quality of life maintained and enriched
- Calm and positive space
- Ease of interaction
- Better communication
- Improved behaviour
- Happier working environment
- Higher rate of staff retention
- Greater sense of harmony
Creating a Qualia Room
When designing a Qualia Room it is important to set goals, with a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and why. Once you have established your aims and objectives SensoryPlus can work with you to create an environment that will suit your requirements and those of your service users perfectly. Your Qualia Room could be designed for all sorts of uses....
- Sound and music therapy
- Activity based sessions
- Therapy environment
- Calming restless or agitated behaviour
- Reducing stress, tension and aggression
- Visual stimulation
Regardless of how large or small your budget may be and how much or little space you have available, it is possible to create a Qualia environment to benefit your establishment enormously.
Successful application of sensory equipment in any area is ultimately driven by people. Without the creativity, sensitivity and dedication of people, the benefits of sensory equipment will be shallow and short lived. Senior care settings are no different.
There are a vast number of components to consider when designing a Qualia Room, such as minimizing hazards, allowing for familiarity and consistency and ensuring space for safe transfers. When designing your room, there are a few simple things to remember that will help...
- Use pastel colours
- Avoid busy patterns
- Take care with rugs and mats
- Use a non slip surface that is easily cleaned
- Incorporate familiar decoration such as paintings and plants
- Use colours that differ from the rest of the care environment
- Allow wires to trail around the room
- Forget to keep the call alarm visible
- Include harsh lighting
- Overcrowd the room with product
*Did you know creation of a Qualia Room can be zero-rated for VAT?*
Which products are suitable?
There are a vast number of products and tools that can be used to excellent effect with the older person, a selection of which we have specifically highlighted on the following pages. Throughout the catalogue you will discover a wealth of options but we recommend you begin by taking a look at Aromatherapy, Tactile Activities, Projection, Fibre Optics and Bubble Tubes.
For further information, read our case study on Qualia and the Older Person, view our Qualia Products
To discover more about incorporating sensory into your senior care environment with the help of SensoryPlus, contact us on Freephone 01302 645 685 and we will be happy to advise you on your options.