Doubt over multisensory rooms for dementia

Researchers have questioned the value of multisensory rooms containing mirror balls, lava lamps and aromatherapy to treat behavioural symptoms of dementia in aged-care facilities.

Despite costing up to $30,000 to set up a so-called Snoezelen room, a multisensory environment has proved no better than having one-on-one attention from care staff for allaying dementia symptoms such as restlessness and wandering, Victorian researchers have shown.

Snoezelen therapy is based on techniques developed for children with learning disabilities, and uses lights, moving objects, music, aroma and tactile objects