As a population, we grow ever older. Progress in science, medicine and society has enabled us to have an expectation of long life our recent ancestors would have considered unachievable.
Such evolution has led to greater pressure on the infrastructure we have in place to care for this ageing populous and enflamed the debate about how best to cater for this growing need. Alongside that dialogue on the quantitative facet of senior care, this increased attention has led to a necessary exploration of the qualitative aspect too. Life should have quality, not just care.
How do we best maintain dignity, quality of life and activity for those residing in care, and specifically those enduring dementia-type illnesses that compound their age-related physical fragility? It is a complex question which requires creativity and collaborative thinking among all vested parties.
Certainly, progressive thinkers share the belief that an holistic approach is most likely to deliver the qualitative improvement. A range of therapies, services and methods exist and, like so many complex questions, it will require a complex multi-layered solution to provide the excellence we all crave for our loved ones, and perhaps, ultimately, ourselves.
At SensoryPlus we are informed by Kirton’s long history of innovative thinking. More than 30 years of supplying specialist seating for people just like those in the nursing and care homes of 2014 along with 25 years as a supplier of Multi-Sensory equipment provides a unique perspective on the challenge.
Our collective experience was the foundation for the Qualia concept, on which more information can be found here. Qualia helped to distinguish the use of sensory equipment in a senior care setting at a time when it was still referred to as Elderly Care. Terminology and technology advance as swiftly as ever but the concept remains firm and has stood the scrutiny and rigour of everyday use in the meantime.
Sensory equipment isn’t all about lights. It isn’t all about technology. Sensory equipment can be activity led, encouraging participation, sharing. It can be about tactile experiences, aroma to promote reminiscence or relaxation.
As a care provider, Sensory tools can sometimes have the appearance of being other-worldly despite our increasing exposure to computers, lighting systems and wireless technologies. SensoryPlus believe in simplification.
Aims should be clear and structured, equipment harmonious and integrated into an environment with recognisable reference points and decor. In all sensory work, communication is key.
Multi-Sensory tools can create atmospheres and moments which illicit responses from the withdrawn, encourage stillness among the distracted and awareness and control when used carefully, with experienced carers and therapists.
And it can simply be enjoyable. Even fun. Being older needn’t exclude fun from life.
Click here for more information about Sensory products in a Dementia care setting.