BWWMH OT Department, SALT donate sensory packs to nursing homes

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Senior Adults Living Triumphantly (SALT) and the Occupational Therapy Department at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital partnered together to bring local nursing home residents with dementia handmade sensory packs as a Valentine’s Day treat.

Each of the 25 sensory packs were unique, and could contain any combination of shaving cream, gel, baby oil, beads, glitter, buttons and more. The packets would be used when a resident becomes anxious and needs something else to focus on.

Annette Dixon, owner of Sonrise Assisted Living & Sonrise Specialty Care Assisted Living, also said that the use of a sensory pack could subsequently calm them down.

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“It’ll give them an action to keep their minds and hands occupied. Even if it’s just for a short period of time, it will soothe them,” she said.

The sensory packs were made by volunteers and participants of SALT and the OT Department, which Beth Randall, occupational therapist and rehabilitation director at the hospital, said gave those struggling with their own health issues a sense of accomplishment.

“Of course if you’re a patient, you’re dealing with something that made you take a step back,” She said.

Fifteen sensory packs were delivered to the Sonrise facilities and ten to Woodhaven Manor Nursing Home.

Bambi Hamilton, Director of SALT, said the combined outreach would increase understanding and decrease stigma of dementia throughout the community.

“The more outreach that we do and the more organizations we get involved in that outreach, the better it’s going to be in the long-term.”

In addition to the sensory packs, gummies and other candy were given out to the residents who may not have been visited on Valentine’s Day. Hamilton said that “Holidays are important to everyone and sometimes folks get forgotten, especially on Valentine’s.”


(This article will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Demopolis Times.)