Are sensory rooms for adults?

Sensory Rooms for Adults

Sensory rooms are becoming much more commonplace in schools and homes. However, sensory spaces are not just for children. In fact, they are equally in demand in adult service settings.

These sensory-focused spaces offer significant benefits to a range of neurologically atypical people. Spaces often include a variety of sensory-stimulating objects such as lights, colorful items, things that make sounds, carefully chosen aromas and other different objects.

Which individuals will benefit from a sensory room?

Although it could be argued that everyone could benefit from a sensory room experience, there are people with a number of different conditions that will find these spaces especially helpful. They include:

  • Anyone with a cognitive impairment, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The world can be a very intimidating place for someone going through the changes that dementia can bring. A sensory room can help ease those struggles by providing a calm and kind space to relax in.
  • In acute or long-term-care homes and units. Sensory rooms in these settings can be helpful during a crisis situation that needs de-escalation or prevention.
  • In mental health clinics. Spaces where patients can immerse in a therapeutic and stimulantfree environment can be beneficial to the therapy.
  • Those with vision, hearing or other sensory impairments. A dark room can be soothing for someone who struggles with vision loss or impairment while interactive activities can help deaf people hone their other senses.  
  • Those with developmental disabilities, A well-designed sensory room will provide many opportunities for those with developmental disabilities.
  • People with learning difficulties. Offering adults a space where they can take a break from their required activities and focus on learning in a manner that makes sense to them and doesn’t stress them out can help improve learning in their day-to-day lives

Benefits of a sensory room to adults

There are a number of benefits that adults will find when they get the opportunity to experience a sensory space:

Stimulation of the senses

A sensory room is designed to help users focus on and engage with their senses. Spending time in a quiet space that offers activities that they can engage with and explore can help an individual to better understand and interact with their environment outside of the sensory room.

The world is a very stimulating place and allowing an adult to control how much stimulation they get while in the sensory room can carry over some skills in how to manage those moments in the outside world.

Improve and develop communication skills

Some adults have a difficult time communicating both verbally and non-verbally. This is especially true for those with autism. A sensory room that provides interactive activities can help these individuals learn skills that will help them engage and communicate with their peers.

Reduce stress

The world can be quite overwhelming, stressful and unpredictable for an average person. Add to that a neurodivergent disorder and they could easily end up extremely stressed out and unsure of how to deal with it. The ability to spend time in a sensory room can allow the individual to immerse in a very low-stress, safe and controlled space, making the rest of the world easier to deal with when they rejoin it.

Improve ability to focus

Disorders like ADHD can make it difficult for some people to focus on tasks they are working on during the day. A sensory room that has various activities can help an individual to learn concentration skills that will help them to focus on tasks and improve those skills outside of the sensory room.

 Encourage socialization

While a person might struggle to reach out and find common ground with some of the people around them each day, a sensory room can help encourage them to socialize on their terms. Many activities in sensory rooms can be enjoyed both alone and in groups. Allowing visitors to enjoy activities in a safe and stress-free environment can make it easier for them to interact with their peers.

Provide mental and physical relaxation 

Even for individuals without a diagnosed issue, a sensory room can provide them a needed space in which to relax. Whether they’re in the midst of a hard work day, are dealing with a difficult situation in their personal life or are experiencing some sort of physical ailment, the calming effects of a sensory room can provide a necessary break.

Improve creativity

The opportunity to immerse in a space that has no expectations can encourage an individual’s creativity to flourish. Providing activities that will allow the user to engage, explore and have fun can stimulate areas of the brain that spark its creativity.

Sensory rooms in adult-care settings are vital

Although sensory rooms are often thought to be for children, adults who struggle in any aspect of their lives can experience the benefit of sensory rooms. For adults with diagnosed disorders, a sensory room can provide a therapeutic environment in which to work on some specific goals, while others may simply enjoy the ability to disconnect from the pressures of life in a safe and calm space.