The feelings many people get when they hold a sleeping baby in their arms are ones of warmth, comfort and happiness. Doll therapy can be a very therapeutic activity for those with dementia who don’t have actual babies in their lives.
Many of the behaviors that we see in those with dementia – pacing, agitation, boredom, sadness – are related to the idea that they don’t have a feeling of purpose. Providing a doll to someone with dementia (especially mothers, but this works with males and non-mothers as well) brings out the natural desire and ability to express affection, to nurture and to care for someone.
Doll therapy has been associated with a number of benefits, including a reduction in episodes of distress, an increase in general well-being, improved appetite and more engagement with others around them. Continue reading