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Sensory Stimulation Groups?
By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
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
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