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Special Ohio Hospital Room Helps Patients With Dementia

11:11 AM, Dec 13, 2007   |    comments
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By Monica Robins WKYC/NBC News Channel CHARDON, OH -- We know relaxation can help ease stress, but in people with dementia, it has an even greater effect. University Hospitals Extended Care Facility in Chardon, Ohio is the first to offer a room specifically designed for patients suffering from dementia. It's called the Snoezelen Room. It offers a cornucopia of sensory stimulation. It smells like lavender, which almost instantly calms you down, and has the ability to relax even the most restless of minds. Hanna Pogacar is a resident who suffers from dementia. She enjoys changing the colors and watching the bubbles in a six foot bubble tube. "For some, something as small as that gives them a sense of control which relaxes a lot of the agitation symptoms that we tend to see," explained Dr. Lori Stevic-Rust. Dr. Stevic-Rust designed the room. She said the room's concept was born in the Netherlands in the 70s. Snoezelen is actually the combination of two Dutch words, snuffelen which means to explore or sniff and doezelen, to relax. Fiber optics, mood lighting, textures and soft sounds can be tuned to either stimulate memories, interest or energy. Dr. Stevic-Rust said it has the ability to calm fears and anger. "They don't have to understand it. They don't have to reason their way through. They don't have to comprehend." Eight patients have used it so far and already staff has seen some impressive changes. Some don't need medications in the middle of the day like they use to.

NBC News Channel

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