Joaquim Parra Marujo is a Gerontologist, Coordinate Professor of Gerontology and Transpersonal Psychology in Research Unit of Transpersonal Psychology and Gerontology. He is also a Visiting Professor of Transpersonal Psychology in Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada. He has PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Master in Clinical Mental Health, Master in Sociology, Economics and Politics of the Lusophone Space. He is also a member of the following societies like Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Portuguese Society of Geography, Portuguese Society of Anthropology and Ethnology, Portuguese Association of Psycho-gerontology, Network of Latin American Anthropologists and International Association of Counselors and Therapists. He has more than 40 articles published in journals and books in the specialty of gerontology, psychology and design and he gave more than 150 submissions and interviews at conferences, seminars, TV, radio fields of gerontology, geriatrics, transpersonal psychology and design.
Aim & Objectives: With this work we aim to: validate the importance of smart skirting board (SSB) to create a holistic therapeutic space; stimulate cognitively older people with Alzheimer's and reconnect older people to spirituality through relaxation, meditation and hypnosis.
Methods: This research was conducted at the residence of São Pedro in Malveira, Portugal and included forty-five elderly people with ages between 75 and 95 years old. The diagnosis of probable Alzheimer dementia was established following the neurological criteria. For this study we used a room equipped with the SSB® (an invention of J Marujo and V Fernandes) as a holistic therapeutic tool that had integrated a Snoezelen system; a laser system; music; video; objects with different smells, textures and colors and different aromas (orange, lemon, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, etc.). The sessions with 50 minutes per week, carried out between May 2016 and August 2017, were divided into two categories: One to do cognitive stimulation and another to reconnect older people to spirituality. The results of cognitive stimulation’s sessions were registered in a battery of neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive function. The sessions to reconnect older people to spirituality through meditation and relaxation techniques have been proven with a gerontotranscendence’s questionnaire.
Results: In this holistic therapeutic space created with SSB we stimulated the primary senses such as vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, providing feelings of enjoyment, promoting cognitive development and meeting with spirituality (Tao). We verified that all participants with Alzheimer's dementia had significant improvements and those who wanted to participate in sessions to reconnecting with spirituality, also had reconnected to religiosity.
Conclusions: The SSB allows you to create a therapeutic space that stirs up feelings of joy, pleasure, well-being and happiness. At the same time can also be used as a tool for a learning experience, cognitive stimulation in the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression, stress, relaxation and recreation. A critical analysis of this study shows the importance of neuropsychological rehabilitation programs through a holistic therapeutic space created by the SSB in stimulating cognitive abilities. Through relaxation techniques, meditation and hypnosis is possible reconnect older people to spirituality providing them welfare and happiness.