The latest therapy for dementia patients will touch your heart

When I first heard about the so-called "doll therapy " or therapy with dolls, I confess that I felt a pang of sadness. Grandmothers playing with dolls to ease their loneliness? I was wrong, I had been carried away by the images and my prejudices.

The more I read about this strange treatment, its indications and positive results, the more I was amazed. To the point of feeling some shame for having fallen into my initial mistake.

Doll therapy It has nothing to do with the loneliness of our elders, but with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and, especially, with dementia. 

Article index

  • A wonderful coincidence
  • Happier patients
  • The case of Nana Lilly

A wonderful coincidence

The creator of this original therapeutic method is Anne Burnnet, director of The Limes Care Home, a center for patients with dementia in the USA, who explains that it all came about by chance..

“Patients with dementia often experience episodes of regression to the past, in which they confuse their old memories with the present. During these episodes, they are usually very disoriented and agitated if you try to bring them to the present.

Once, I was working with an older woman who had lost a child when she was young and was always crying out for her baby. Asking for him, suffering for him ".

"One day, we gave him a teddy bear during one of his episodes and calmed down. The most impressive thing is that since then she felt calm and happy. Little by little, we verified that the same happened with other patients, they were men or women "

Happier patients

When at the University of Newcastle he began to study the phenomenon in depth, they were surprised to find that there were more cases.

In the end, it turned out to be a non-institutionalized resource. Caregivers and family members heard about it and decided to try their luck, hoping to offer some relief to their relatives with dementia. The results speak for themselves.

Caroline Baker, Head of Quality and Dementia Care at Four Seasons Health Care, explains:

“People are surprised and, on some occasions, we have had relatives question the method, so we make sure to explain the positive impact it has. The best way to do it is that visit us and see the peace that is breathed when they play and take care of the dolls ".

"Even medical professionals and care staff expressed concern at first, commenting that the use of dolls was " childish ", " totally degrading "and " condescending ". A few weeks later, the benefits were clear. The patients had reduced their erratic behaviors, were calmer and improved communication and speech when interacting with their dolls and with other patients ". 


They cradle them in silence, talk to them, take care of them, dress and change their clothes, sing and play with them, all with delicacy, care and care.

And all this translates into a benefit for them, improving their motor skills, their humor and their thinking..

The case of Nana Lilly

Encouraged by stories about doll therapies, Maxine Daniel decided to give one to her "nana " Lilly.

Her grandmother had been staring into space for months and slowly fading, so trying to give her a doll couldn't do much more harm. However, Maxine confesses that did not expect this reaction when he handed her the doll. 

Watch the video and you will see that, without a doubt, her happy face and the change in attitude are capable of moving anyone.

Also interesting is the article on reborn babies and how they are used for all kinds of therapies.

Source: theguardian.com, mmccarehomes.com, sleafordtarget.co.uk, dementiajourneys.com, thefed.org.uk 

Article originally from: Lavozdelmuro

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