Understanding the Benefits of Dementia Dolls
Dementia dolls are a widely used resource for those working with dementia sufferers. Typically a baby doll or a teddy bear, the doll is used to help those suffering with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia to continue having responsibilities, feel calm and have an element of structure in their day.
Usage of Dementia Dolls
A recent poll conducted on carehome.co.uk has revealed that more than 50% of care home residents are now believed to be actively using a dementia doll as part of their ongoing dementia therapy.
The dolls are well recognised as a way of calming and comforting people who are suffering with the symptoms of dementia. Many individuals come to believe that the doll is real, and will often be found cuddling them and taking care of them. While there are some controversial views surrounding dementia dolls, they have been seen to bring about a sense of wellbeing for the individual.
What Are The Potential Downfalls to Dementia Dolls?
In the first instance, some families can find it quite distressing to see their older relative or loved one treating a doll like a real baby. Especially if the individual is their mum or grandmother. However many become accustomed when they see the calming effect that it has on their loved one.
In some rare cases, there have been individuals who have neglected their own needs in favour of the doll which is something which care home staff must be strictly monitoring. These behaviours include foregoing food so that they can feed their doll, or putting their baby into their bed and then sleeping on the floor.
Using Dementia Dolls in Practice
Care home owners and employees also contributed to the poll, with results showing that more than 70% of care home owners and employees believing that dementia dolls are beneficial to dementia sufferers.
In terms of introducing the doll, there are different ways it has been approached. Experts argue that the doll should be introduced gradually – leaving them out for the residents to approach the doll themselves as opposed to giving them to the resident directly.
In summary, research has consistently demonstrated that doll therapy can have an incredible impact on the life of somebody living with dementia. Allowing them to experience much increased levels of wellbeing and reducing their need for behaviour adjusting medication. While dementia dolls are never intended to be a replacement for real contact with human beings, especially family members, dementia dolls have been shown to provide a much more enriched day for someone living with dementia.