In humans, touch represents a form of comfort and a benefit to health throughout life.

Together Closer – Giovanni Frazzetto

Over the last few years, a scientific understanding of the importance of human touch has been building in strength. Touch plays a vital role in human wellness and can be as important to health as nourishment. It represents and provides comfort from pre-birth onwards, yet, as adults, we often struggle to talk about it, particularly as a means of communicating feelings and emotions.

The impact of touch deprivation has featured in many studies of pre-term babies and child development. A consensus is emerging that severe touch deprivation in infants can result in a broad range of developmental concerns, ranging from slowed cognitive and motor development to poor impulse control and impaired physical growth.

The Covid-19 pandemic has deprived many of the meaningful and deeply sensory connection offered by touch. The link between touch, comfort and loneliness is profound and one that is affecting many of us at the moment, especially older people and the most vulnerable in our communities forced to shield and isolate.

When the pandemic subsides, it will be important to think about services from a sensory perspective. What do people see, hear and feel as part of their engagement? What do sensory spaces look like for both children and adults?

Touch, for sure, is a major connector and not an optional extra for wellbeing and life-long health. It is a major component in creating, enhancing and sustaining our unique human stories and experiences.

Ready Generations

Author Ready Generations

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