Sensory stimulation therapy, originally designed to help people with learning disabilities also helps people living with dementia. It uses the five senses; smell, touch, sight, hearing and taste to evoke positive feelings and engagement.

With the age of technology, we have come a long way with clever interactive apps that have rich graphics. These can be stimulating for people with dementia, improving cognitive skills, mood and wellbeing.

We have looked at and tried a few apps that are available on the market for sensory stimulation and here are our top 5.

Pocket Ponds

Pocket Ponds by TriggerWave is and easy to use app featuring a pond on your phone that has Koi swimming in it. The water ripples and moves when you touch the screen, it is so responsive to touch that it has the feel of real water in movement.

You can add things to your pond like lily pads and frogs, when you tap the frog he will jump.

It is a simple yet engaging app that feels relaxing. There may be some initial help needed in setting up and going through the app tutorial.

It is available via Google Play for Android and on iTunes for iPhone and iPad users.

Pocket Ponds on iTunes

Pocket Ponds on Google Play

YouTube

YouTube by Google is a popular video app available for all devices. It offers the ability to search for and watch videos. There is a vast array of reminiscence materials on there for older people with dementia, with the option to watch or just listen.

It is available via Google Play for Android and on iTunes for iPhone and iPad users.

YouTube on iTunes

YouTube on Google Play

Flower Garden

Flower Garden by SnappyTouch offers a free or paid for version. We tried the free version. You have a pot of flower saplings. You hold down the watering button and watch them grow. There are simple icons allowing you to plant more seeds, and create bouquets that you can send to friends by text or email, adding a social aspect.

It is available via Google Play for Android and on iTunes for iPhone and iPad users.

Flower Garden – Free on iTunes

Flower Garden – Free on Google Play

Magic Piano

Magic Piano by Smule offers visual, sound and touch. This one can be best played on a tablet device as the user will benefit from a larger screen.

There are coloured dots that float across the screen and the idea is to touch them all to create a tune. You are rewarded by choosing new tunes to play.

There are adverts in the free version, but if the app is really helpful it can be worth getting the paid version to remove these.

It is available via Google Play for Android and on iTunes for iPhone and iPad users.

Magic Piano on Google Play

Magic Piano on iTunes

Lumosity

Lumosity by Lumos Labs is a daily brain training app offering games and puzzles to help keep the mind active. The games are set at levels based on your performance but you are encouraged to improve.

These games can help memory and cognitive skills.

Available via Google Play for Android and on iTunes for iPhone and iPad users.

Lumosity on Google Play

Lumosity on iTunes

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