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Rehab Patients Benefit from Multi-Sensory Environment in EGF

Hospital news | Tuesday, February 1, 2022

RiverView Clinic – East Grand Forks recently became the third Rehab Services location to add a Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) for its patients.

“Multi-sensory spaces stimulate a person’s senses through the environment,” shared Marrisa Jevne, Occupational Therapy assistant in East Grand Forks. “The space creates a calming atmosphere that helps to reduce anxiety, agitation, and much more. The equipment used in the MSE provides visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory stimulation to assist with relaxation factors.”

The space accommodates patient needs. If the patient needs an environment that is stimulating and alerting, that setting is created. If the patient needs a calming environment, the MSE is adjusted to meet the patient’s needs to have a more productive therapy session.

Patients of all ages and abilities benefit from the room, especially those who struggle with self-regulation, such as being alert and calm during purposeful activities such as therapy.

Equipment used in the new MSE includes bubble tubes, fiber optics, a projector with many themes, a bean bag chair, and room-darkening blinds. Similar multi-sensory environments exist in RiverView’s Rehab Services locations in Crookston and Red Lake Falls. Plans are in the works for the newest Rehab Services location in Fertile, which opened in the Fall of 2021, to also have a MSE.

“Patients enjoy these environments and are set up for success when therapy is provided in these spaces,” reported Crystal Maruska, director of Rehab Services.

The therapeutic, fun environments are possible thanks to funding from the Dancing in the Sky Fund by the Jim Ingeman Family through the RiverView Foundation.

“We are so blessed to receive this funding for our patients in all RiverView therapy locations,” Maruska said. “With this funding, we are able to provide more sensory experiences for our patients as they reach their goals.”

Pictured above and below: Marrisa Jevne, COTA, works with a patient in RiverView’s new MSE in East Grand Forks.