Multisensory therapy

We use a combination of light, sound, touch and smell, both in the hospice and the family home (where possible), to provide a sensory experience as therapy for stimulation and relaxation purposes. The service is available to babies, children and young people aged 0-18 years. Family members, in particular siblings, also use the space to relax and recharge.

Janine, Deputy Head Nurse at Acorns for the Three Counties, explains more about multisensory therapy

How does multisensory therapy work?

Each of our three hospices has a special multisensory room which features a range of varied optical, acoustic, olfactory and tactile stimuli including:

  • Colour bubble tubes
  • Flexible coloured fibre optics
  • Music equipment adaptable for all ages
  • Sensory UV lights
  • Colours – using the effects on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being
  • Projection equipment
  • Water beds
Multi-sensory equipment at Acorns

In addition, the hospices have mobile multisensory units that can be brought to a child, either in their bedroom or another part of the hospice, and a range of multisensory toys and aids that can be used in a family home. The facility and aids are used appropriately with each individual child by care staff and trained befrienders to create the appropriate environment and multisensory experience; either stimulating or relaxing a child, depending on their need.

Multi-sensory room at Acorns for the Three Counties

What are the benefits of multisensory therapy?

Through multisensory therapy individuals with cognitive and sensory impairments and other challenging conditions can have the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences.

Multisensory therapy can open up a whole new world for individuals with cognitive and sensory impairments. It can generate a relaxing and calming effect, but can also provide stimulation.

Other benefits include:

  • Develops language with more vocalisation
  • Promotes social interactions
  • Promotes mental and physical relaxation with stress levels dropping
  • Aids relaxation, resulting in more calmness and lower aggressive behaviours
  • Increases opportunity for choice and self-determination
  • Improves communication and sharing
  • Leads to non-responsive patients becoming communicative
  • Provides relief from pain and painful physiotherapy
  • Stimulates the sensory building blocks
  • Increases concentration and focuses attention
  • Develops or reactivates senses of hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste
  • Heightens awareness and improves alertness
  • Improves coordination and motor development
  • Promotes cognitive development by increased brain function
  • Leads participants to explore their environment
  • Provides security
  • Provides an unrestrained atmosphere where participants feel able to enjoy themselves
  • Improves creativity
  • Develops a sense of cause and effect

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