This therapeutic environment is designed to soothe and help reduce agitation and anxiety. It also engages the patient, prompts action and reaction, and encourages verbal and non-verbal communication, cognition and physical movement. (Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses.)
Therapists prompt the patient’s interaction with the featured technology, and then tailor that patient’s use of the room and therapy plan to be of greatest benefit.
At Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, physical, occupational and speech therapists, nurses and therapeutic recreation staff use our Snoezelen Room® most often with inpatients who have sustained brain injuries, including the minimally conscious state and/or behavior-regulation disorders (disorders often associated with traumatic brain injuries).
The room and its technology are used with patients of any age, diagnosis and functional ability level. For example, patients with neuromuscular impairment might use the room to work on balance, eye-hand coordination, and stress or pain management. It’s also frequently used with pediatric patients — all of whom can benefit from soothing forms of stimulation and interaction.
Our room was designed by our therapists, who researched the needs of our patient populations, as well as available Snoezelen technology.
Watch a video of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Snoezelen Room® in action.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Snoezelen® Room includes:
- Shadow-reactive Floor Projections — A patient can interact with many vibrant images and videos projected onto the floor. The user sets the visuals in motion by using his or her shadow. He or she can then modify movement based on the feedback from the moving image. In this way, the patient can control the images. The therapist observes or guides the interaction, and the responsive technology creates a fun therapeutic experience.
- Fiber-optic Cables — Designed for gentle stimulation of sight and touch, these thin and flexible fiber-optic strands can be stroked, twisted or braided. The tactile and visual experience is soothing, and the colors can be changed (e.g., blue, red, orange, green, yellow).
- Bubble Tubes — Two, six-foot tall, transparent tubes filled with bubbling water transfix the gaze. Watching the bubbles or listening to their gentle gurgle can reduce stress or serve as a point of focus from distraction.
- Colored Gel Floor Tiles — As the patient steps on these colorful tiles, he or she sets in motion the swirling gel colors. Applying pressure slowly creates one type of movement, stepping quickly, another.
- Room Color Lighting System — Room lighting is intentionally low. A softly colored lighting system can be programmed to automatically and gently transition through a sequence of colors, or it can allow the patient to engage with the technology and make the colors change. This technology connects with all color-lit pieces of equipment.
- A Vibrating Chair starts vibrating gently when the patient sits in it. The vibration creates a whole-body sensation that is calming and relaxing.
- A Sound-to-sight Panel allows patients to manipulate light patterns on a screen with speech. Speech therapists use this device to work on voice projection, among other speaking skills.
- A Pinpoint Projection System allows patients to control how dots of light display (shapes, patterns and colors).
- A Wall-mural Projector projects images of patient interest onto a wall (solar system, abstract art, nature scenes, etc.).