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Sensory Engagement

Interactive sensory activities and playful engagement are designed to wake up the senses and affirm social bonds— wherever you are located.

Whether people are at home, participating in day programs, or living in senior communities, our sensory engagement program brings all the benefits of sparking emotional memories through exercises that utilize all the senses: smell fresh hay, feel the physical sensations of horses brushes and saddle leather, or listen to the sounds of horses running through a field.

The smell of fresh hay stimulates the senses in our Sensory Engagement Kits

What is Sensory Engagement?

Sensory engagement is the use of everyday objects to awaken the senses. Hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch serve us throughout our lives to trigger pleasant memories, facilitate non-verbal communication, and contribute to a sense of meaning and connection. Whether the smell of fresh hay, the feel of leather, the sounds of nature, or the image of a horse grazing in a meadow, all serve to heighten the senses. This experience offers tangible benefits to people with memory changes or dementia.

At-Home Program

Participants receive a box of playful tools, thoughtfully curated exercises, and access to virtual experiences that open up a world of interactions. In the Virtual Barn, an open-ended experience played on a tablet, participants lead an avatar through a farmhouse to explore and conduct daily life activities such as playing music, sitting in the garden, and petting a cat. They then can head out to the barn to tidy up the stall, feed and groom the horse, and walk her to the pasture for a quick run.

A Connected Horse Sensory Engagement Kit, part of the Barn At-Home program, contains activities to stimulate the senses.

Community Program

Community facilitators receive a kit containing a full array of activities to encourage engagement and stimulate emotional memories by sparking the senses. Each kit includes materials for 6-12 participants along with instructions for set-up, modifications, and guidance for conducting each group activity. In addition, you will receive a facilitator training manual, access to remote coaching, online training, and a resource library full of links to videos, music and photos.

Each seasonally-updated kit includes activities such as grounding and meditation exercises, arts and crafts projects, audio and video links, and a myriad of sensory-stimulating prompts. In addition, participants may engage with a Virtual Barn experience on a tablet where they can- meet the animals at the barn while interacting in the virtual world.

Virtual Experiences

Many people find that they can “do” things in the virtual world that were not previously able to manage. This creative engagement and novelty are often exciting. Playing together builds bridges and affirms the bonds and connection between people affected by dementia and their partners in care.

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