Example of a thematic Snoezelactivity for people with Dementia: Baby Project 1

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Why this activity?

For elderly people babies create a special emotion. It stimulates memories and feelings from past times. It is an excellent method to make contact with your clients and to find an entrance into their experiences.

How do you organize such an activity?

You simply ask family members or staff to bring their new born baby to the nursing home. You arrange the right equipment such as a bath, towels, shampoo, etc. If you don't have these items at you disposal you ask the young parents to bring it with them.

The Snoezel effects!

With help of the babies you are able to stimulate several senses of the demented elderly.

Smelling : Clients strongly react on the smell of a young baby. New born babies carry a typical smell every mother recognizes and strongly appeals to our instincts as a human. So its is very close to nature. It is one of those instincts that certainly remains in the memory of people with dementia

Hearing : The sounds and noises a little baby makes stimulates the feeling of caring. You will experience that your clients immediately put their attention to the baby an even try to make contact with them. The copy the sounds and try to find eye contact with the child.

Feeling: To hold their baby is the best thing a mother can feel. You will see your clients feel the same way. They instantly are convinced there are the mother at that moment. And it is staggering to see that all old movements of being a mother holding her baby come back precisely. It is almost like they go for example 80 years back in time and do al movements all over again.

Sight: To see a baby creates a high level of attention. You don't need to say anything. The picture speaks for itself.

The ultimate form of contact!

During this entire activity you will be amazed how many topics you are able to address with you patients or clients. You can ask questions about their own children or their grandchildren. You can ask them where the lived when they raised their own children. You can let them tell stories about the past. And because of the strong and positive stimulation babies give your clients you can have Real conversations with them. So you will be able the make real contact with them!

And most important; this snoezel activity guarantees an improvement of the wellbeing of your clients. For the time the baby's are at present they feel happy all the time.

Just some little advise at the end:

  • present a baby to a maximum of 3 or 4 clients. Otherwise you might create too much restlessness because every female client will react on the baby. And in case you have more clients at present you will loose the opportunity to make contact with them. You cannot divide your own attention to too many clients.
  • put the baby in bath yourself. Let your clients only watch this event.
  • It is advisable to let the whole activity not exceed the time limit of circa 1 hour. Otherwise your clients will loose their interest and attention. The end result might create an opposite effect.

To go to the pictures of the Babyproject 2: click here

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