Objective : This study was conducted to identify the preference of Snoezelen equipment of elderly people with dementia.
Methods : This study was carried out on 17 elderly people (3 male, 14 female) diagnosed with dementia at W nursing home. An Occupational Therapist experienced in the Snoezelen approach applied 14 Snoezelen pieces of equipment (6 visual stimulations, 1 auditory stimulation, 6 tactile stimulations, 1 olfactory stimulation) through 40-minute sessions with a set (certain) sequence, and every subject conducted two one-week sessions. Two occupational therapists individually measured the subjects' responses to the equipment based on a 7-point Likert scale. The inter-class correlation of the two occupational therapists was 82.5% (first session: 80.6%, second session: 84.4%).
Results : The elderly people with dementia in this study showed a positive response to a tactile panel with a round pubble, grain case, water column with a light and bubble, a projector, and mink fur. On the other hand,they showed a negative response to psychedelic light, aroma scent, a tactile panel with a rough pubble, and an optic fiber, which are unfamiliar and stimulating equipment, and no or very little response to relaxing music, a water bed with a vibration device, and a mirror ball. In conclusion, elderly people with dementia showed a preference toward tactile and visual stimulating equipment more than olfactory and auditory stimulation.
Conclusion : Tactile and visual equipment needs to be considered prior to setting up a Snoezelen room, and further study needs to pay attention to the effects of individually preferred equipment on the ease or decrease of symptoms of elderly people with dementia.