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March 21, 2024 3 min read

Essential Awakenings® and MindScent® multi-sensory kits created for Memory Care, Smell Training and Education will soon on the shelves at another US library for families, Assisted Living Communities or Speech Therapists to check out just as they would any book! This is Scent Therapy on demand!

The library that gave me my first "break" was in the little town in the midwest where I grew up and, as most little towns people do, we keep in touch with each other.  Word of mouth and social media sites such as Facebook helped the librarian (Alice) hear about Essential Awakenings® Smell & Memory Kits that I created for people living with memory loss after my mother died of dementia-related causes in early February, 2016.  Alice understood the possibilities and the purpose of the kits knowing also that resources for activities for seniors living with dementia were scarce and she herself, had a family member living with Alzheimer's.  Alice immediately purchased both MindScent® and Essential Awakenings® kits for the locals to check out, and the kits are still proudly displayed in the front room of the library, not far from Andrew Carnegie's portrait that hangs above the fireplace mantle. 

The kits were purchased pre-COVID so as we are all aware, there was a gap and lapse in group activities in all ALCs, but now that we have managed to get through the pandemic and learn how to live with it, I am focusing again on getting the sensory kits into libraries either for community events or for families, caregivers and ALCs to check out just as they would any book. If you know a librarian, or anyone involved as a caregiver, please let them know about our innovative sensory kits for wellbeing.

Because both multi-sensory kits are unique, innovative and "niche", I'm writing down some ideas for how you can use them as a great social and sensory-stimulating activity for overall wellbeing, fun and learning for the entire family:

Use Your Creativity! Some Ideas: 

1) Purchase the multi-sensory kits for library events such as storytelling for children's hours using the scents as prompts, or as a fun group guessing game of "What's That Smell?"

2) Group Social Activities for Seniors Living With Dementia for storytelling or sensory activity.

3) Check out (just as you would a book) for either Smell Training for Anosmia (lost sense of smell) or for senior activities at local Assisted Living Communities. If you need the kit for Smell Training, our neuroscientist-developed Smell Training Guide is available for you upon request to help guide you through the process. 

Special Notation:  If you are a volunteer in your community, this would be a very special activity to offer to seniors in memory care communities and I am always open to give a quick tutorial about how to run your session--either through a Zoom or call.  Appointments can be made via my gmail address which is posted on my website, https://thescentgurugroup.com

4) Families can check out the kits for a fun family activity that's perfect for holidays and for those rainy cold days.  (Refer to my YouTube video with Jacqui about Christmas with her Grandfather)

5) If you are a caregiver and purchasing your own sensory kit, you can use your own creativity and make a DIY customized kit combining the scents with your own photos, family stories, and various objects that resonate with the person who you are caring for. You can also add on to the activity by writing down memories attached to the scent given such some examples below: 

Example #1:  Activities:  If your father used to play football, combine the scent of grass with a football, photos of him playing it, and share stories with him that he may become engaged in conversation centered around football.  Add the smell of popcorn from MindScent® and other scents to pull the story together yourself!. Have them verbalize or write about their scent memory.

Example #2:  Seasons, Holidays and Family Traditions:  Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover and Easter are some of those special holidays that bring family together and resonate with most. Who did not eat those chocolate easter eggs wrapped in foil, or the chocolate shaped rabbit after the Easter Egg Hunt? Christmas is very much centered around the pine tree, and Passover, bread.  Autumn is significant with the smell of apples and campfires.  Summer is grass, roses, and strawberries. Winter is pine, cinnamon used in pies etc., 

 

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