The benefits of sensory stimulation for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease cannot be underestimated. Studies have shown that keeping someone with dementia active and engaged promotes a sense of self worth and can even keep that person independent longer. Learn more about sensory stimulation and how you can make your own activity apron for a loved one.
Benefits of Sensory Stimulation for People with Alzheimer’s
Sensory stimulation was developed in Europe in the 1960s and uses everyday objects to engage one or more of the five senses. It provides a way for people living with Alzheimer’s to explore a new environment in a safe way or see a familiar environment in a new way.
Sensory stimulation has been shown to not only bring enjoyment and fun to people living with Alzheimer’s but also to fight anxiety and depression while increasing social interaction. Sensory stimulation can also help people stay independent for longer, promote understanding and a sense of belonging as well as help people express how they are feeling.
Depending on the progression of dementia there are a number of sensory activities caregivers can do with their loved one. They include:
- Walking or hiking
- Puzzles and games
- Memory boxes
- Fidget aprons
The Fidget Apron: A Unique Sensory Activity
One unique way to provide sensory stimulation for all stages of dementia is the fidget apron, a creative and unique idea that can engage and stimulate people living with Alzheimer’s.
The idea came to Kristy who runs Hopeful Threads, a sewing business dedicated to provide sewed donations to people who need it most, from one of her blog readers who had been personally affected by dementia. She explained how a fidget apron utilized sensory stimulation and could help someone fighting a disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Kristy organized her readers to create their own fidget aprons and then donated the created aprons to people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia in her local area.
To make your own activity apron you will need:
- 1.5 yards of cotton woven fabric
- 7″ zipper and scrap fabrics
- Key Rings
- Apron Sewing Pattern
While each fidget apron is different, the general idea is that a person can put the apron on and have a variety of activities, trinkets and charms within their reach. Some fidget aprons include zippers, braids, different textures and patterns and all are designed to engage the minds and fingers of someone living with Alzheimer’s.
Have you made an activity apron? If so, tell us about it! Did your loved one enjoy it? What types of fabrics, trinkets, and material did you use?