Sensory stimulation involves activating one or more of the five senses in a person through different activities. We have sensory receptors all over our body which help us put our senses, such as taste or touch, to use. These receptors, when activated, collect signals and send them to the brain for further processing. The brain then provides the body with output because of which we feel what we feel, or we hear what we hear, etc. Sensory stimulations are known to have calming effects on people that suffer from anxiety and help relieve some of the agitation and restlessness.
Following are some gel-based sensory products that you can look up to purchase for this purpose:
These amazing pastime squish discs promise a tactile experience like no other! These discs come in a pack of six with different colors. Incredibly squishable and cool to the touch, these sensory toys can help in physical and visual stimulation. The cooling affect can help soothe the fingers too. Having translucent ‘beads’, glitter and colored gel inside, these discs are great stress-relievers and are bound to be difficult to put down!
This sensory gel maze manufactured by Skil-Care is helpful for brain stimulation. It has a marble that you need to work through the maze which helps in eye/hand coordination and increases finger strength. This maze is made of anti-bacterial, phthalate-free vinyl and is also heat-sealed. It measures at 14”x14” and weighs only 2lbs which is quite easier to carry!
This weighted gel pad manufactured by Skil-Care provides deep pressure to create a sense of being grounded and self-aware. Anxiety is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and weighted products have been known to help counter it. This gel pad, weighing around 7lbs, helps establish increased body-awareness, improve attention span and concentration, and has calming benefits. It comes in a rectangular shape, measuring 10”x22” and is vinyl covered for easy cleaning. Made up of blue gel which sparkles, it can also provide visual stimulation while keeping the person seated. It is safe to use since the water-based gel inside is non-toxic.
4. Busy Bee Lap Pad. Weighted Activity and Comfort Aid for Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Developmental Disabilities
This activity-based lap pad, by Best Alzheimer’s products, provides both tactical and visual stimulation. It has 5 manipulative and stimulus providing attachments including real lamb’s wool, a liquid motion, a bean bag, a Tangle, and moveable wood beads. The weight of this product is 8lbs which is because of the gel pad inside which weighs around 5lbs. weighted products are beneficial in countering anxiety and restlessness. The gel pad which is made up of glittery stars is easily slidable and can be used as an activity on its own. The pad is secured with a Velcro closure. The lap pad drapes comfortably over the user’s lap because of the flexible gel pack inside. The Busy Bee lap pad measures at 10”x18” and promises activity and comfort rolled into one!
This sensory stimulation gel pad by S&S Worldwide is very helpful for tactile and visual stimulation. It contains tiny multicolored glitter sparkles that move inside the aqua-colored gel which provides a calming and soothing effect. It is made of durable, wipe-clean vinyl measuring at 16”x7”. This product is perfect for sore or arthritic hands.
Manufactured by Skil-Care, this gel-top sensory stimulation tray is made of glittery and starry material that will keep people with Alzheimer’s content and safely seated in their chairs. Soft gel-based pad relieves pressure from elbows and arms and helps calm restlessness and agitation. This sensory stimulation tray is available in two models: Lift-away mode for restraint-free care or with Velcro band closure. Both of the models are covered in durable vinyl which is easily cleanable.
This set of 6 gel tiles covering around 6 square feet are a great addition to sensory rooms. These tiles create the feeling of a liquid room with the gel moving at every step and generating a perfect relaxing sensory experience. They are quite simple to use with no sticking or installation necessary. They can be used immediately by placing on any surface. All tiles have an extra firm non-slip backing which prevents them from moving once on the floor. All tiles are non-toxic and have been tested with 32tons of direct pressure for 8 hours to ensure a 100% safe usage. Made with super endurable material, these tiles are made to withstand high traffic and continuous heavy use.
8. Fun and Function Gel Pad Elements for Tactile and Multi-Sensory Handwriting, and Encouraging Touch Learning
These gel pads by Fun and Function are ideal for tactile and sensory stimulation. Made using PVC material, these pads are sturdy enough for longer use. They come in a two-piece set and encourage finger movement. Alzheimer’s patients face a decline in writing skills and this gel pad can help provide tactile stimulation which can bring back some of the lost writing skills. The material is no toxic and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
This gel fidget’s sensory toy is easy to carry because of its portable size. Squeezing the gel-based fidget can act as a stress-reliever and can calm anxiety and restlessness. It is made up of durable vinyl which can also be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
Gel-based sensory stimulation helps people with Alzheimer’s feel calm and soothe the agitation and restlessness. Going through the list above, you can select one of the many sensory-stimulating products we have mentioned. Some of the products stated above provide activity-based stimuli which can also help alleviate boredom and keep Alzheimer’s patients engaged. Some others provide stimulation through weighted pads for patients that face major restlessness. You can keep in mind the preference of your loved one and select the one that suits them accordingly.