The effects of multisensory environments on older people with dementia

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This paper reports on the findings of an initial evaluation of the effects of exposing older people with dementia to a multisensory environment. Data collected about 29 patients demonstrated that this was generally a positive experience in terms of response to equipment and effect on behaviour.

This was not the case for all patients, tactile equipment generating the most negative responses when it occurred. Several facets of behaviour, as judged by staff accompanying patients in the room, demonstrated desirable change over the session. Issues relating to refinement of the research methodology are discussed and the potential for such environments as tools for promoting communication is highlighted.

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