Anything touched and anything that touches us can be stimulating. Every solid object has texture, temperature, shape. Items in a collection can be smooth or rough, hard or soft, furry or…not.
You feel with every part of your body that contains nerves. When you touch something, a hot stove, for instance, the nerve endings in your hand send a message through the nerves of your hand and arm to your spinal chord, which then sends a message to your brain. It is actually the brain that “feels”; so tactile stimulation is brain stimulation!
The list of things we can use to provide tactile stimulation for people with Alzheimer’s is almost endless. Any “thing,” any object in our world can be touched, within limits. On a walk in the woods, we find the bark is different on each tree. Some, like the Shag-bark Hickory is very rough; the bark of the Sycamore, on the other hand, is much smoother. All trees have a definite and noticeable texture. (They have visual texture, as well.)