At the Arizona State Veterans Home in central Phoenix, the dedicated staff “go the extra mile” to serve America’s heroes. This care and dedication includes helping to establish the facility’s Snoezelen® Multi-Sensory Environment—the state’s first Snoezelen room. Its impact upon the home’s residents has been profound.
ASVH Recreation Therapist Dannis Murphy recognized the need for a Snoezelen MSE soon after joining the Veteran Home’s staff in 2005.
“There were five or six residents who were not participating in activities. They were almost in a vegetative state. I thought a multi-sensory room would increase their ability to communicate,” says Murphy.
Having learned about Snoezelen while working with veterans in California, Murphy was convinced it was the answer.
With funding from the Area Agency on Aging, a full-scale Snoezelen MSE opened in 2007. Residents began to benefit from sessions immediately.
“Dementia-care residents typically encounter 40 stimulation episodes each day,” Murphy explained. “The average healthy individual has more than 300 encounters. Carefully planned Snoezelen treatment greatly improves our residents’ stimulative environment.”
Murphy notes that after Snoezelen room sessions, dementia-care residents show improved affect, increased mobility, and better communication skills.
“While we can’t reverse dementia, our Snoezelen MSE has enhanced the quality of our veteran heroes’ lives,” adds Murphy. “Now we can truly serve them as they’ve served us.”
To learn more about the Arizona State Veterans Home, visit their Facebook page.