When you’re looking to create a memory care plan for a loved one, you might consider things like brain supplements and what foods they should eat. And while those are important factors, you can’t forget about fun and playtime.
Sensory bins are an easy way to provide your loved one with a playful and calming activity — and the benefits don’t stop there. Sensory bins can help families reminisce and help those with memory-related diseases recall special times in their lives. Let’s explore the impact sensory bins can have on older adults dealing with memory-related diseases.
Sometimes called memory or rummage boxes, sensory bins are containers filled with items designed to stimulate the senses and calm the nerves. You can use any washable container you have on hand to craft your own DIY sensory bin. Plastic containers with lids are a common choice because they are easy to store and clean. The size of your container is up to you; just make sure to plan ahead so you know the items you want to include will fit. Sensory bins are an ideal tool for just about anyone, but the benefits for older adults with memory-related diseases are undeniable.
The great thing about sensory bins is that they are highly customizable, so you can put just about anything you want in them. Most sensory bins consist of filler material that acts as a base. The filler can be dry like sand or rice, or wet like dish soap or water. When it comes to older adults experiencing memory-related diseases, it’s wise to fill the bins with everyday items that encourage reminiscing. For example, if hiking in the woods was a hobby for someone, they might have things like dirt and tree bark in their sensory bin. Here are some other items you might consider adding to a sensory bin:
Not at all. Sensory bins indeed have many benefits for children going through their developmental phase. However, the bins are ideal for anyone over the age of three. Whether you’re dealing with memory-related issues or not, sensory bins serve as a soothing activity that could calm stress and anxiety.
Sensory bins stimulate multiple senses at once, making them an enjoyable experience for people of any age. One of the main reasons older people try sensory bins is to encourage memory recall. Depending on the items you choose, interacting with a sensory bin can:
You don’t need to stick to just one sensory bin. You can create several bins, each designed with different intentions. For example, if your loved one is dealing with a high-stress situation, you might not want to pull out the sensory bin that strongly encourages memory recall. Instead, have a bin on-hand designed solely to calm the nerves. A bin with mostly sand that you can run your fingers through might be more beneficial in this scenario.
You can have bins that simulate different experiences too. For example, one bin can have a hiking theme while another can have a beach theme. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are a few sensory bin ideas to keep in mind:
At Autumn View Gardens assisted living community, we are proud to provide a beautiful home-like setting in Ellisville, MO. Here, we prioritize care and activities that benefit our residents' well-being. This is precisely why we have a variety of enriching activities and outings available. Sometimes residents and their families want to organize their own activities — that’s where sensory bins come in. You now know the benefits these bins can have for older adults experiencing memory-related issues. Even constructing the bins can be a beneficial bonding experience between loved ones.
Sensory bins are an easy and cost-effective tool to have in your memory-care tool belt. Whether you fill them with memories and mementos or simply want a zen-garden type bin for stress relief, the benefits of these bins are bountiful. To learn more about memory care and the assisted living community at Autumn View Gardens, call us today at (636) 458-5225.
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