Monday, June 10, 2013

Sensory Hands


submitted by Cynthia Soucy, CTRS of Harborside Healthcare Willowson April 30, 2005 

Size: any size, but preferably no larger than 14
Equipment: washcloths, lotion (regular from facility or sometimes I use aroma therapy lotion from Bath and Body Works), music for calming and relaxation, a basin, warm water, and small garbage bags, Purel
Objective: Objective is to calm the patients down in the morning after breakfast and treatment and for more individualized attention.
Description: The activity is simple but rewarding. At my facility I do this on Tuesdays and Thursdays with my dementia patients. This was started by one of my co-workers.

Put on the music in a private room, preferably a room with a sink.

Next fill up a large basin with very warm water. Put in your washcloths to get them nice and warm. Place one of the garbage bags next to the basin/sink for used washcloths.

Then, one patient at a time, take a washcloth and cover the persons hands for about a minute. You will instantly see their faces relax. I also use this time to orient them to what day it is. Put the used washcloth into the "garbage" bag. Then put lotion on the patients hands and give them a hand massage. If you are using the aroma therapy lotion, allow them to smell it. I like the relaxation or awakening lotions because they really seem to have a good effect on the patients mood.

Continue this until all of the patients are taken care of, and then return them to the activity room. Make sure to wash your hands between each patient or use Purel! It is all about infection control. Also have fun! 

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