How-To Articles

How to Create a Snoezelen Area
for Your Residents

A Snoezelen area is a therapeutic, sensory-stimulating environment that can be used for residents with dementia. Snoezelen rooms can improve communication for your residents while also reducing aggressive behavior.

The word Snoezelen is a Dutch word that means to explore and relax. It’s a type of therapy that provides multi-sensory stimulation in a controlled environment. Here are 6 ways to turn an ordinary room in your facility into a relaxing Snoezelen room:

1. Visuals. Use inexpensive visual elements that can be plugged in easily, like lava lamps or bubble lamps, night lights, or a bubble machine. For more visual stimulation, place a colorful mural on the wall. 

Activity: Brush your resident’s hair as she holds a handheld mirror.

2. Smells. Set up a diffuser machine where you can use aromatic essential oils. 

Activity: Assemble potpourri sachets or apply scented lotion.

3. Sounds. Play nature or instrumental CDs to provide soothing sounds in the background. In addition, set up a wind chime near the window so that it blows and creates a calming noise when the window is open. For a different type of sound, plug in a water feature or a small water fountain. 

Activity: Encourage your resident to cool herself off with a handheld battery-operated fan that buzzes.

4. Tastes. Supply a few of your resident’s favorite snacks for him to sample. Choose options that have identifiable tastes and textures in the mouth like orange slices or chocolate pudding. 

Activity: Provide a bag of popcorn for your resident to eat.

5. Textures. Display textured pillows (wool, satin, corduroy) on the chair and keep a bin nearby of soft toys and blankets. 

Activity: Make easy no-sew bean bags using felt, beans, and glue.

6. Movements. Place bean bag chairs in the room for your resident to try out. 

Activity: Encourage your resident to rock in a rocking chair.

For more information, check out this resource on how to create a Snoezelen room  (by for residents with dementia. (On the pdf, scroll to page 14 for more ideas on how to create a Snoezelen room in your facility).

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