Walking into the Snoezelen Room at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare is like walking into a sensory wonderland. The space is a controlled multisensory environment that has been specifically designed to stimulate various senses, using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents and tactile objects. As a therapeutic space for patients who have experienced brain injuries, stroke, dementia or other neurological issues, there are myriad ways to configure the room so the user can elicit their senses, practice regaining functional skills or just have an opportunity to relax.
Bridgepoint’s Snoezelen Room was established in 2013 with the opening of the new building and since then, therapists and therapy assistants have used this room to offer a unique experience for their patients. Melissa Byers, recreation therapist at Bridgepoint, says “the Snoezelen Room offers a specialized therapy for patients, with many options for stimulation. It gives our patients freedom of choice – experiences can be easily customized to work with how they want to interact with the space”.
In addition to soothing or eliciting response, the Snoezelen Room can also be used as a rehabilitation tool. Jennifer Ridgway, professional practice leader for therapeutic recreation at Bridgepoint, says “the different items in the room can also be used to assist patients with recognition, recall and following one-step commands.”
For therapists and therapy assistants, the Snoezelen Room requires specialized training, and it’s also an opportunity for creativity and collaboration with their colleagues, including occupational therapists and/or speech language pathologists. Both Melissa and Jennifer agree that it’s a wonderful space for discovery and offers many opportunities for our patients.