Bubbles for Dementia and Alzheimers
Since I started working with bubbles I have also worked in Care Homes and have now built several years of experience in this setting. Four years ago my mother was also diagnosed with Alzheimers and I have used the bubbles with her and others in her home ever since.
I have also had the fantastic opportunity of working with some great professionals in the field including Dr Catrin Jones. Our 'Bubble Therapy' offers a stimulating approach that supports many of the principles of iCST (Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy). More on this will be available on the website.
Bubbles quite simply offer an easy opportunity to reach people, what ever age or ability, but this i something especially useful in dementia. Moments where there is anxiety, that feeling of being utterly lost, knowing something is terribly wrong, or not being able to comunicate - bubbles can quickly and instantly offer a way in, and a great in-the-moment distraction that can make things just that much easier.
All ages, cultures and languages recognise bubbles. They are instant reminders of a childhood, a playfullness and fun. Within the treatment of dementia, there are few easily accessible therapies available. And key to any of them is improving quality of life and wellbeing. As simple as soap bubbles may be they provide instant enjoyment. They can be used to connect with people living with dementia, as well as providing an enjoyable activity for carers and families alike, encouraging mobility and facilitating social interactions.
Our Sensory Bubble Kits (shortlisted for the German Design Awards 2019) contain wands for making giant bubbles outdoors, a hand wand for indoor use, for making smaller bubbles, for catching bubbles, and for bringing them up close, to allow for close interaction, or to allow bubbles to be made more easily for people who are seated or who have motory skill challenges. The kit also contains a foamer with which you can make 'sausages' of soft, tactile foam that is at once easy to manipulate, and can, when mixed with washable paints, be used to make bubble paintings. Our bubbles are also scented. For now these are pine, citrus, red fruits and an 'ocean' scent - all evocative smells that can be used in story telling or as part of a sensory story activity. We are hoping to produce an unscented bubble mix that can be used to add aromatherapy oils for a more therapeutic effect.
The aim of our Sensory Bubble Kit for use in Dementia settings is to provide a multi-sensory tool that can hopefully improve cognitive functioning to lessen agitation, and also, hopefully improve mood. Our bubble kit is also designed to be used both in home and Care Home environments, as an essential part of any carers toolkit and really an effective, easy and joyful lift to both the person living with dementia, as well as family and everyone around them.
You can see some of our work here - on the BBC program 'The Toddlers Who Took On Dementia' where our bubbles were used as an ice-breaker in an intergenerational care setting. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1890013724352370