Therapy dolls have a remarkable effect on both men and women in the middle and later stages of Alzheimer's disease. They are calming, soothing and bring the person back to a time in their life when they felt useful and had a sense of purpose; when caring for a young family member was the #1 priority. Alzheimer’s doll therapy helps patients escape from a world where someone is always caring for them.
Giving someone a "baby" doll brings them back to that safe and secure time in their life. These sweet little babies are very special, bringing pleasure to anyone who holds them. Their beautiful faces and cuddly bodies can help but make you smile. Dementia care is never easy, but seeing the joy that these dolls bring turns therapy into a rewarding experience that enriches the lives of everyone involved.
"My mother is in an advanced stage of Alzheimers. Her doll is her constant companion. In my mother's mind, the doll is a living being. She cuddles it, talks to it, and exhibits less fearfulness at night when she sleeps with the doll. The familiar occupation of caring for "Little Debbie" seems to remind my mother of her role as an adult. The reduced level of agitation, and even more importantly, the comfort and happiness "Little Debbie" has brought my mother only makes me sad that I did not get her a doll sooner." Jill - Caregiver for her Mother
These life-like dolls are as perfect as baby dolls get; but the
"miracles" they perform far exceed their physical features. The
wonderful stories we receive are barely testimony to the wonderful
moments (and hours) they create.
While visiting a dementia unit, a
resident approached with a doll buggy. Before she was within earshot I
was told that she considered her doll to be her real baby. So when she
got closer, I asked her if I could see her baby. She replied, "This
isn't a baby - it is a doll." The staff was astonished. I commented on
the cuteness of her doll and asked her how long she had had it. Her
reply, "Since it was born!" Kathleen - Alzheimer's Assn.