Doll & Pet Therapy for Dementia
Alzheimer's doll therapy is a known resource in working with dementia patients. Using a Teddy Bear or a Baby Doll can be a very effective way for a person with Alzheimer's or any kind of dementia to decrease stress and agitation. A caregiver can use doll therapy for dementia patients as a way to put responsibility, caring and structure back into the lives of those afflicted with Alzheimer's. Working with a realistic doll has to be introduced to those with Alzheimer's very carefully. A doll or teddy bear can be seen as a welcoming grandchild or the little sibling of their youth or the Alzheimer's patient can fear the therapy doll as an unwanted responsibility.
From experience, introducing doll therapy in a controlled atmosphere by allowing the dementia patient to take responsibility rather than giving them the doll to play with, can bring structure to their lives. The Alzheimer's doll can help a person who is not verbalizing to initiate speech again. It is part of the basic thought process to speak, hum or sing to a baby in your arms. The therapy doll can have its clothes washed, folded and put away and then dressed the next day. Even the teddy bear brings soothing comfort as it can be heated to bring warmth to the patient and can be a cause of an activity. Whether it is realistic baby doll , a heated bear or a furry fish shaped doll, doll therapy for dementia and Alzheimer's patients can really work!...click here to read our article, "Learning About Doll Therapy"
“A baby doll can…
- Calm someone who is upset;
- Provide endless hours of hugs and smiles;
- Lull a person to sleep;
- Create a distraction from a dangerous, harmful or upsetting event;
- Serve as an attention-getter;
- Provide a tool for social interaction;
- Regenerate warm, nurturing feelings of once again caring for a young child;
- Make it possible for someone, totally dependent upon others, to care for ‘someone’ else.”