Everyday life can be stressful. Overwhelming. As our brains constantly process and react to the world around us, sometimes we need a space to just shut out the noise and reset. And that’s the power of a sensory room- a calming, immersive space where you can regulate, develop, and positively engage the senses.
In the health, disability, and aged care sectors, everyone can benefit from sensory therapy – whether they are living with neurodivergent or neurodegenerative conditions, require emotional regulation, or are experiencing stress, depression, or anxiety. By purposefully engaging the visual, auditory, tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses, a sensory space creates a safe environment to process emotions and behaviours.
SENSORY SPACES FOR SENIORS
As seniors face ongoing challenges such as reduced mobility and cognitive decline, sensory therapy helps keep the faculties engaged and reduces stress associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
For individuals with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, or Parkinson’s disease, a gentle sensory experience fosters independence and retention, while reducing feelings of sadness, isolation, and boredom. And these spaces are not just for those with neurodegenerative diseases. Seniors who experience the mental and physical stimulation of a sensory room show an increase in happiness, personal autonomy, and general well-being.
It is worth noting here, that sensory products must be tailored to their users. For example, individuals living with dementia may feel anxious, disorientated, or afraid around mirrors, not recognising they see a reflected image of themselves. Questions to help you choose the correct sensory products in this instance may include:
- Is this equipment age-appropriate, or is it juvenile/ demeaning?
- Does the space provide multi-sensory stimulation, or is it too heavily focused on visual stimulation?
- Is there a risk of sensory overload, or can the sensory products be adjusted for sensory seekers and sensory avoiders?
- Is the space warm, soft, and welcoming?
- Does the space provide tactile input? E.g., different things to sit on, lay on, touch and hold.
Above all, a sensory space should be user-centric, and designed to effectively meet the needs, objectives, and goals of those using it.
SENSORY ROOMS FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES
Each sensory room we create at Sensotec is fully customised, making these spaces a powerful tool for addressing the complex needs of those living with physical disabilities or mental illness. From stress relief to emotional regulation, sensory rooms provide a positive space where individuals can relax, self-soothe, and have quality interaction with others.
By giving users the ability to explore and develop their senses at their own pace, sensory rooms help to:
- Relieve stress and anxiety.
- Provide comfort.
- Increase focus.
- Develop communication and social skills.
- Encourage self-awareness.
- Improve fine and gross motor skills.
Sensory rooms are also effective in managing/ preventing sensory overload and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Users can self-regulate and decompress until they feel in control and relaxed.
SENSORY ROOMS FOR HOSPITALS/ HEALTHCARE
Sensory rooms provide a welcome respite from the busy, brightly lit healthcare environment. For patients with underlying conditions such as sensory processing disorder (SPD), having a welcoming and soothing space helps prevent overstimulation and stress.
A sensory room can also be used for clinical tests and procedures. Having a safe, calm environment for treatment helps reduce agitation, promotes communication, and enables staff to effectively administer care without the patient feeling threatened. By improving patient experience and outcomes, sensory rooms help create a more patient-centred and compassionate healthcare environment.
BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL SENSORY ROOM – WHERE TO START?
First, you need a clear idea of the outcomes you want to achieve. What is the main purpose of your space? Who will be using it? Once this is determined, we help you select the right sensory products to suit your needs and budget.
Let’s take a closer look at our top recommendations for sensory rooms in healthcare, age care, and disability support. Remember, a sensory space should always be user-centric; take this into account when planning your sensory space.
Interactive Wall Panels
Interactive Wall Panels are a valuable addition to sensory spaces, helping to reduce stress and boredom, encourage social interaction, and improve focus and self-regulation. By adjusting the volume, brightness, speed and mode on each panel, this multi-sensory experience is suited to all ages and abilities.
Fibre Optic Strands
A fantastic visual and tactile sensory experience, fibre optic strands are a versatile addition to a sensory space. Use to relax and improve sensory integration, or to boost fine motor skills and promote interaction.
Bubble tubes are great for all ages, providing visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation. Users can watch the mesmerising combination of bubbles and lighting, hear the soothing sound of bubbling water, and feel the gentle, rhythmic vibrations of the tube.
For sterile environments where ongoing water maintenance is not appropriate or practical, we recommend a Waterless Colour Tube. Gentle vibrations, changing colours, and moving patterns create a calming effect and help reduce sensory overload.
Want to combine fibre optics and an interactive tube with comfortable seating? Our range of Modular Sets provide a relaxing area where individuals can sit, self-regulate, and engage the senses.
With a large range of configurations, you can easily adjust the layout and also customise the module colour to suit your space.
LED Sky Tiles
Want high impact without taking up floor space? LED Sky Ceiling Tiles are a terrific mood enhancer with their relaxing cloud and tree imagery. Whether installed above patient beds, examination tables, or in a dedicated sensory space, these tiles bring the outdoors in, spark the imagination, and reduce stress and anxiety. Check out Sensotec’s LED Sky Tile options.
Another great option for minimal floor space, a Spinning Projector provides a soothing visual display that’s suited to all ages. The ever-changing motion of the slides helps reduce anxiety, promote self-regulation, and improve focus, memory-building, and tracking skills.
Interactive Mirror Ball
Add a mesmerising visual display to your sensory space with an Interactive Mirror Ball. By moving reflections and colours around the room, a mirror ball encourages visual tracking skills and interaction with the moving lights. As it is ceiling mounted, this product is a great way to add ambience and visual interest where floor/ wall space is not readily available.
Liquid Floor Tiles/ Ortoto Sensory Mats
With their mesmerising patterns and colours, Liquid Floor Tiles provide a soothing visual display. By exerting different levels of pressure, these tiles help users refine motor skills, explore cause and effect, and encourage body awareness through the proprioceptive sense.
For extra tactile input, we recommend Ortoto Sensory Mats. These massage mats are ideal for improving sensory processing (especially for those living with sensory sensitivities and autism), developing the vestibular system, and stimulating the muscles.
Both the Liquid Floor Tiles and Ortoto Sensory Mats are durable, easily portable, and support wheelchair weight.
PORTABLE SENSORY EQUIPMENT – MAKING SENSORY THERAPY ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE
If you don’t have a dedicated room for a sensory space or would prefer a portable solution, the Roma Sensory Trolley is a fantastic option. This trolley combines various sensory items into one compact unit, taking up minimal space and allowing you to easily move it from room to room. Customise the trolley by selecting products to suit your user’s end goals. It’s a portable, adaptable, and convenient way to make multi-sensory therapy accessible to all.
Ready to set up your sensory space? Sensotec covers everything from custom design to fit-outs, delivery, and installation. Talk to one of our professionals today at 1300 622 180, or email@example.com.