What is a Snoezelen Room?

On any typical day at Nazareth Home Clifton, an elder with dementia might become agitated and confused. When this occurs, our staff can utilize the Snoezelen Room to provide stimulating options to calm the elder.

Snoezelen comes from the Dutch words “snuffelen,” to explore, and “doezelen,” to relax. A Snoezelen Room is a controlled, multisensory, therapeutic environment that soothes, stimulates and helps reduce agitation and anxiety. It can also engage and delight, stimulate reactions and encourage communication.

Snoezelen Rooms were first created in the 1970s for autistic children and later was developed for patients with dementia or for elders suffering from anxiety or confusion. It allows elders to seek out experiences that engage their senses of seeing, hearing, touching and smelling.

The dark space serves as a blank slate on which a variety of visual stimulation can be used, including bubble tubes, black lights with shimmering curtains and a projector that fills the room with images that could jog a memory.There are also textured boards and mats to stimulate touch, relaxing music and aromatherapy oils and lotions.  

Research suggests that spending regular time in a Snoezelen Room can have a positive effect on blood pressure and motor skills. It also can reduce the risk of falls because the stimulation helps maintain balance.

A Snoezelen Room is a powerful tool and one more way Nazareth Homes enhances the lives of the elders through innovative compassion and person-centered care.