Helping people with dementia is not easy. Especially not when they change characters, when they lose their senses of themselves and their surroundings, and when they become increasingly agitated and restless. Sleeping disorders, inappropriate behaviour, and restless walking can make day-to-day life stressful not only for the person suffering from dementia but also for their relatives and the staff looking after them. 

 A person with dementia can percieve a caring and light touch as a stress factor, find it difficult to receive help with personal hygiene, and in several situations find it challenging to be in too close contact with other people.

In this light, a Danish project from 2018 focuses on sensory stimulation and welfare technology for persons with dementia.  The project reports that the sensory stimulating aids have a positive influence on the quality of life for the patients and for the working environment of the caretaking staff. During the project, physical and mental agitation were reduced by 60% and in general sleeping disorders and well-being were improved.

Man with dementia

A man with dementia has slept with the Protac Ball Blanket® Granulate and has experienced a really good effect. More specifically, this meant that the length of the resident’s deep night's sleep was increased by 42%, and that the number of times the resident left the bed decreased by 38%. Deep sleep is crucial for the well-being of all people, both in relation to general health and to the level of mental energy and capacity the following day.

62-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease

The woman has severe physical, mental, and cognitive impairment as well as depression. The woman is very bothered by physical and mental unrest. She has found it increasingly difficult to accommodate multiple sensory stimuli and is easily overstimulated. Overstimulation manifests itself in violent physical movements and using a loud, angry voice. The woman spends a lot of time in her own living room because she needs help in limiting sensory input. The woman has difficulty accepting handling and being turned over while in bed in connection with personal care. She therefore receives Protac KneedMe® knee blanket immediately after morning care. She is offered a choice between staying in bed and having the knee blanket draped over her or sitting in an armchair with it in her lap. When using the knee blanket, she becomes and calm and seems more secure. Now she is offered the knee blanket if she is restless during the early morning hours and morning care is postponed until she is calm and more comfortable. The woman now uses the knee blanket daily, and is seen much more frequently smiling, relaxed and comfortable. When you enter the living room, she often turns her head and greets you with smiles or calm sounds and engages in “small talk." The meals go better than before when she has the knee blanket on.

70-year-old woman with Lewy body dementia

Female wheelchair user who is needs full assistance for all daily chores. Has Parkinson-like movement disorders, fluctuating attention and may hallucinate. When she has mental unrest, she produces a loud, persistent, and monotonous sound. The woman has been using Protac KneedMe® for several months with the goal of enabling togetherness and participation in music activities. Already the first time she used KneedMe®, it was clear that the knee blanket had a good effect. She became more present in her contact to others, concentrated on the music and the monotonous sounds were replaced by occasional humming along with the songs.

80-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease

The woman tends to have verbal self-stimulatory behaviors – with a great degree of perseveration of sounds. She is almost insistently singing and loud in conversation with herself. The woman is given Protac KneedMe® immediately after morning care to prevent escalation of sounds / self-stimulatory behavior. Already at the first trial, it is evident that the knee blanket provides the woman a feeling of calmness; her voice is lower, and she responds more appropriately when she spoken to by others. After using the knee blanket, her facial expression is gentler than usual. The woman now sits with the knee blanket every day and preferably several times during the day.

Man with dementia, stress and unrest

When he starts sleeping with Protac Ball Blanket® Calm, he becomes much less restless, both during the day and at bedtime. Nor does he wake up early in the morning with unease. He becomes less irritable than before and has fewer toileting accidents. This also affects my daily life and energy a lot. So, all in all, I would argue that his and indirectly my quality of life has improved. Written by a relative of a man with dementia.

Man with dementia with externalising behaviour

The man’s behavior was previously particularly problematic in the morning. Two aids were needed to bathe him and one to hold his hands. He was given sedatives before morning care. At night, the man often got out of bed and had difficulty getting settled down again. During the day he was also very restless and had difficulty finding peace in the present moment. The man tries the Protac Ball Blanket® Combi - it is introduced at a leisurely pace. The first two days in the wheelchair, it is draped over his legs. The man independently takes off the blanket when he thinks it is enough. Next, the blanket is used for the mid-day nap, first draped over his legs, and later the blanket is laid completely over him. It is going very well, and the man is now starting to use the blanket at night too. He sleeps more calmly and only wakes up once instead of 5-10 times. He is now completely calm in the morning during morning care. There are now only 2 aids present for morning care and the man no longer needs sedatives before getting up.

Man with dementia, anxiety and aggressiv behaviour

The elderly man opposes transfer, care and bathing situations, and the staff experience transfers and bathing as being abusive of him. The man accepts and enjoys the Protac Ball Blanket® Flexible from the first night, and protests, as the night-shift caretaker mistakenly attempts to switch it with his regular duvet. After 2-3 weeks, the staff comments that the man is a completely different person. Transfer and bathing no longer give rise to aggressive behavior. He starts singing, looking in newspapers and after 2 months he gets up several times from his wheelchair and walks, which he has not done for an exceptionally long time.

Woman with dementia (alcohol-related)

Protac Ball Blanket® Flexible has changed the woman's everyday life. She has many more nights of uninterrupted sleep. She has gained a greater acceptance of her bed, where she used to think of the double bed at home. She is calmer and less aggressive towards her husband and the staff. She is easier to get to bed when it is bedtime. She is happier during the day, smiles more, and generally has more energy. She no longer wanders away from the care center to the same extent as before.

Protac MyFit® ball vest calms down user with dementia

A resident tried a Protac MyFit® ball vest and experienced a really good effect. The resident usually had difficulty with the morning ADL and in general getting started with the day, and this resulted in extremely aggressive behavior during the day. After the citizen used the ball vest systematically every morning, the number of situations with aggressive behavior dropped drastically and the staff experienced a completely different more readily contactable and positive resident.

73-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease, motor and mental unrest

The woman has great difficulty calming down and wanders restlessly without being able to concentrate on anything. With the Protac MyFit® ball vest on , she calms down and you can see that her facial expression softens.

Woman with dementia

The woman wants to be outside and participate in social gatherings but tends to be restless and to become overstimulated during group activities. She is encouraged by staff to try the SenSit® ball  chair, which is on the terrace. When she sits down in the ball chair, she says, "Ah - that feels really great". She finds a magazine and reads intently. After 45 minutes she gets up, goes indoors and is both happy and at ease for the rest of the day. Since then, she has independently sought out and used the ball chair many times with the same positive result.

68-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease

The woman lives in a residential care facility for people with dementia. Her everyday life is characterized by constant physical restlessness and wandering in the corridors as well as severe mental unrest and a pronounced collecting mania. She cannot remain sufficiently calm to concentrate on individual sensory inputs in activities such as eating and exercising. When using the Protac SenSit® Straight ball chair , she is comfortable changing position from standing to sitting, due to the height and firmness of the chair’s edge. The upright position allows her to have a sense of security and control. She is better able to relax and find peace. She can independently get in and out of the chair. Subsequently, she can remain sufficiently calm to remain focused in activities, for example eating a meal without wandering around. The chair has a really good effect on her physiclal and mental restlessness.

Woman with Alzheimer's disease

The resident is very restless, and often wanders restlessly around corridors and common areas. She is not able to find sufficient peace to sit down and rest or to participate in activities. She can be guided to sit down and watch movies but gets up after a short time and continues the wandering, even though she loves movies. The woman tries out the Protac SensOn® neck and shoulder wrap, and she comments that it is both beautiful and nice to wear. The staff sat by her side for a few minutes, after which she sat for over an hour and watched movies. The neck and shoulder wrap is now used when there is restlessness and wandering behavior, especially as a preventative measure around shift changes, where she is otherwise particularly physically restless. Residents can easily take the Protac SensOn® off  by themselves.

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