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Sensory Stimulation
What are Sensory Stimulation Groups?

By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 2)

How long do these groups run and what are the possible outcomes?

The groups typically last for 50 minutes. A number of individuals gain a sense of empowerment and well-being, while others occasionally access more verbalization and need less prompting.

Why do these groups make caregiving easier?

The sensory groups engage clients in activities that require a considerable amount of eye-to-hand and eye- to-eye contact which can be experienced as energizing but also tiring. With the variety of programs offered at Alzheimer specific day centers, by the end of the day, clients are ready to go home. Research indicates clients that attend Alzheimer specific day centers sleep better and elicit fewer problematic behaviors, making care-giving easier.

My spouse has lost most of his desire and ability to express language. He no longer initiates simple tasks and easily becomes angry. Is he a good candidate for a sensory group?

Yes. A client does not need to be verbal to derive benefit from this group. The group works on simple tasks that are within your spouse’s abilities. The interactions with others will provide a connection which may help him feel less isolated and consequently less angry.

How do I know my family member is the best candidate for a sensory stimulation group?

The clients who benefit most are experiencing: restlessness, difficulty with language, difficulty with organizing thoughts, shortened attention span, inability to cope with unexpected situations, and challenges in perceptual and motor programming.

About the group leader: Diane Alvy is a registered nurse and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She works with elders and her sensory groups have been featured on Cable TV 36. Ms. Alvy has also authored articles about the benefits of eye-to-eye exercises for individuals challenged by neurogenic decline. She currently works at Opica (Older People in A Caring Atmosphere). Opica is located in West Los Angeles. For more information about sensory stimulation groups call 310-478-0226. Ask for Robbie Brown or Diane Alvy.


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