As I flip through the pages of the quintessential S&S Primlife Magazine, I am both amused and bothered. I have purchased many products from this company, and others like it, which are extremely helpful, and useful for individuals with changing needs. But, as I look through the Cognitive Therapy Section, I see things like the Sensory Activity Pad, selling for $42.99, and promising hours of tactile stimulation with only ribbons, fabrics, and zippers. OK, so I like the idea in theory, very much in fact, but this simple model is just not enough to stimulate all of the senses. It has to be used on a table top as well, and drops between your legs if used on the lap. I know this could be made in a more creative fashion, and could be tailored to each person's unique interests. Now what would this look like?
Would this take extra time for a family member, or staff member to order or to make?
Yes, it sure would.
Would this be a more expensive option, and take a lot of mental energy?
Likely it would.
Would a specialized tactile board be one of the last methods to communicate and provide stimulation to a loved one who has lost so much due to dementia?
Absolutely, and this is what makes it worth it.
To me, a personal inventory of the user's interests, favorite colors, and family input could give all of the answers to create a personalized board in just a few minutes. So why this article? Because professionals LIKE US should be using our logical AND our creative sides, to be create things like personalized tactile boards for our clients. I have been working on a few in the past year or so, and I plan to finish them up in the coming weeks.
Here are some shots of 2 of my creative visions for a tactile board, focused on a design oriented person, who enjoys flowing colors and patterns. Remember, each can be as unique and specialized as you like.
Leave your comments below. Keep in mind this is a work in progress! Would love to see your work too!
Welcome to Cre8ive Senior Solutions! I'm Amanda Andrade and I'm a gerontologist, a teacher, and an innovator around all things "wellness." I absolutely love creating new and unique solutions geared toward happiness and engagement for those affected by Alzheimer's or related dementias. Working to solve the individualized and complex problems seniors, and their families face is what inspires me and renews my hope for the future. I hope you join me on this journey, and share your family stories along the way!