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Addressing Sensory Processing Disorders in Live-in Care: Creating Sensory-Friendly Environments

Sensory overload is a term that paints a vivid picture of the experiences many people with sensory disorders go through. It describes what happens when someone receives an overwhelming amount of sensory information.

This can happen in everyday settings like busy streets, crowded places, or even within the confines of one’s home. Sensory information includes things you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch, as SPD can affect any and all of your senses. Here, we explore this complex and important issue and offer some practical advice.

Understanding Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD)

What is sensory disorder?

Recognising the signs and symptoms of sensory overload is imperative, especially for residents receiving live-in care. These may include excessive irritability, avoidance of certain environments or activities, and physical responses such as covering ears or eyes. For some, the world can seem too loud, too bright, or too fast, making it challenging to function normally.

There are multiple variations of SPD, and they manifest differently in each person. Some might be hypersensitive, reacting intensely to sensory inputs, while others may be hyposensitive, requiring more sensory input to feel anything at all. Understanding the nuances, therefore, is essential to provide effective care.

The Significance of a Sensory-Friendly Environment

Environments significantly shape our experiences; this is especially relevant for those with SPD. Stimuli that many of us take for granted – like the hum of a refrigerator, the brightness of fluorescent lights, or the feel of certain fabrics – can become sources of immense discomfort for people with SPD.

A well-adapted environment can be a sanctuary for people with SPD. When potential stressors are minimised, it reduces anxiety and bolsters their overall well-being and functionality. Imagine the relief of not being constantly bombarded by discomforting stimuli; that’s what a sensory-friendly space provides.

Practical Tips for Creating a Sensory-Friendly Live-in Space


A room’s quality and type of light play a significant role in sensory comfort. Choosing dimmable lights allows for personalised adjustments, ensuring the brightness level is right for the individual’s preferences. It’s a good idea to steer clear of fluorescent lights since they tend to flicker, which can be particularly distressing for some. Instead, consider using LED or natural lighting solutions that offer a steady light source.


Auditory stimuli can be overwhelming for many. Noise-cancelling headphones aren’t just a luxury; they can be a lifeline in noisy environments. They help filter out excessive ambient sounds, making it easier to focus and remain calm. Furthermore, soundproofing spaces or adding thick curtains can act as barriers against intrusive external sounds. Playing soft, calming music or nature sounds can also be beneficial.


Tactile comfort is paramount. Opting for soft, non-irritating fabrics for bedding, furniture, and clothing can make a world of difference. Beyond this, sensory toys and tools can be incredibly beneficial. Weighted blankets, for instance, provide a comforting, soothing pressure. Fidget toys, stress balls, and other tactile objects can also help manage sensory overload.

General considerations

A serene and organised space can contribute significantly to sensory comfort. Ensuring every item has a designated place is beneficial to minimise clutter. The choice of colours for the walls can also influence mood and comfort—calming hues like soft blues, greens, or pastels can be preferable. Natural elements, such as plants, can infuse the environment with tranquillity. Their presence purifies the air and offers a calming visual stimulus.


It’s crucial to understand that sensory preferences are highly individualistic. What’s soothing for one person might be triggering for another. Therefore, open communication is critical. 

Engage with the individual, understand their specific sensory needs, and be ready to adapt and modify the environment accordingly. By doing so, you’re not just creating a space—they’re co-creating a sanctuary with you.


Recognising and addressing the unique sensory needs of individuals with SPD is not just an act of kindness; it’s a necessity, especially in live-in care settings. Creating environments that cater to their sensory requirements paves the way for their comfort, well-being, and optimal functionality.

After all, everyone deserves to have an environment which provides them with comfort and safety.

Find the Support You Need With The Live In Care Company

Living with Sensory Processing Disorders or caring for someone with SPD can be overwhelming. Fortunately, with the right support system in place, challenges can be transformed into opportunities for growth and connection.

At The Live In Care Company, we’re here to be that support system for you or your loved ones. Reach out today.

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