August 15, 2013

Donations sought for sensory room

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County is sponsoring a donation drive for appliances and supplies needed to create a sensory room for residents of the county’s Horace Nye Nursing Home.

The drive will take place from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, in the Activity Room of the facility, located at 81 Park St. in Elizabethtown.

County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) and Horace Nye Home Administrator Deborah Gifford and her staff are sponsoring the event.

Douglas said his interest was sparked after he received a letter from one of the Nursing Home residents expressing the need for items that are not generally funded by Essex County. 

“This is a great opportunity for the Horace Nye staff, Board of Supervisors and general public to provide some needs for our residents,” he said in a news release.

“Providing these materials will assist our residents in enjoying some conveniences, which they may normally not have the resources for. Any consideration of donations would be greatly appreciated.” 


Douglas said to enhance the quality of life for residents with advanced dementia and diminished cognitive function, the staff at Horace Nye Nursing Home wants to create a sensory room, also called a snoezelen room, within the facility.

“This room is a multi-sensory stimulation room designed to support residents, to keep them calm and relaxed but also keep them stimulated and engaged.”

Horace Nye Social Worker Rachel Tupper said she’s heard from peers in other nursing homes about the success of this type of program.

“They say that they have found it very helpful in working with people who have high levels of agitation,” she said in the release. “It becomes part of our therapeutic intervention.”


The items that are needed are: lava lamps, LED lights, color pictures with bright flowers, sunsets and tropical scenes, shower puffs, Playdough/moon sand/Silly Putty, blacklights, CDs of nature sounds, sensory balls, LED rope lights, sand toys, fur, CDs of upbeat 1940s, ’50s and ’60s music, a small CD player, craft supplies like felt markers, acrylic paint for ceramics, Wii games, and an electric bingo caller.

To make a donation or for more information, call Activities Director Candy Goff at 873-3575.  

Goff has previous experience working with individuals with disabilities, and said she has seen firsthand how multi-stimulation therapy works.

“I have seen it work for a number of individuals and have seen it have positive outcomes.”

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