If you have ever had the chance to sit in something called a Snoezelen room, you know what true relaxation really is. I have had the experience many times while visiting Shalva, a very special program that provides respite care for profoundly disabled kids in Israel.
While reclining in a Snoezelen room, you are exposed to various calming sensory stimuli-it could be aromatherapy, warm lighting, soothing sounds…tranquility is the ultimate goal and you usually experience it shortly after entry.
Our opportunity to become involved in a Snoezelen "mitzvah" began with an email from Second Wind Dreams (see Tzedakah Diaries April 28, 2008, July 9, 2008), an organization which helps to make dreams come true for residents in closed-care institutions. As part of Second Wind’s new partnership with Harrah’s Foundation, nursing homes (that adopt the Second Wind program) in certain parts of the country where Harrah’s has a presence will benefit from Harrah employees who commit to volunteering in these homes. When Second Wind was in touch with a New Orleans’ nursing home that was now part of this partnership they learned about the home’s wish to provide the Snoezelen experience for some of their dementia residents. Experience has shown that exposure to the room’s calming stimuli can have a positive effect on those who experience the often-frenetic and disorienting symptoms of dementia.
Would the Good People Fund be willing to help Second Wind provide the funds for this? You bet!
And we did…