Our Muirhouse Service continues to show its innovation by creating a sensory room designed for relaxation and stimulation.

Andrew Taylor, the service manager said: “The room is used on a daily basis by three people supported at Muirhouse. It is hard to imagine living without it; the room has been especially invaluable during lockdown.

“The sensory space used to be in the office, so developing it has been a gradual process, and we are still developing it as we go along.

“The room has a firework display wall panel with relaxing and stimulating sounds, a bubble machine, a fibre optic light wall, there are also beanbags the ladies can sit on and just chill out. We just wanted to give them a nice relaxing area. There is also aromatherapy and a tactile environment such as feathers and balloons.”

Andrew also mentioned that they have a foot keyboard to play music with. Andrew and his team are always looking for new things to add to the sensory room, as the ladies who use it get so much benefit from it. They are investigating potentially getting floor mats, glow in the dark stickers, storage boxes and colour changing lightbulbs.

Support practitioner Becah Beagley said on the sensory room: “I feel as though the ladies use the room as a relaxation thing. All three ladies enjoy this in different ways. Kirsten enjoys the feathers and balloons. Abigail will interact with staff, blow bubbles and use the bubble machine. Madison claps and smiles when watching the fireworks on the screen.” 

Jess Barrass-Sykes, support practitioner, said: “I feel that the sensory room is highly beneficial. It is a place of calm and focus for the ladies we support. Particularly if the living room might be slightly noisier and if any of the ladies begin to seem overwhelmed or agitated, then offering the solution of spending some time in the sensory room seems to be a very valuable option. 

“Madison seems to be calmer when she is in the sensory room. The combination of the visuals and the sound from the light box seem to engage her and gives her something to focus on.

“With Abigail, I have noticed that when using the sensory room, she seems to concentrate well on the light show. This in turn leads to more relaxed behaviours. Especially if a staff member sits with her and engages in one-to-one conversations.

“Kirsten also seems to be a lot more relaxed when she is in the sensory room. She seems to focus more on the engagement and seems more at ease. I also have noticed that she enjoys ripping and throwing the textured paper. Similarly to Abigail, I feel this room allows Kirsten a way to release some tension and frustrated feelings through focussing her energy on the sensory stimulations.”

  

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