Doll therapy is a common form of care given to people living with dementia. Dementia dolls are specifically designed with realistic faces and features to emulate the look of a real human face.
With life-like features, these dolls are used in care giving across the world, but how do they benefit people with dementia?
Benefits of doll therapy:
1. Creating a sense of purpose:
People with dementia often lack a sense of purpose in their day to day lives. As they are often unable to look after other people themselves, these dementia dolls give them a sense of duty. They are able to interact with them and feel like they are responsible for the care of the doll. Doll therapy can therefore lead to increase activity levels and alertness.
2. Helping to tackle social isolation and loneliness
The dementia dolls offer companionship in a form that has been proved to lower agitation and aggression in those with dementia. They will often cuddle and talk to the doll, helping to reduce feelings of loneliness. It is also helpful for care givers to observe interactions with the doll, as it may help them understand how a person living with dementia is feeling when they are unable to communicate it effectively.
3. Encourages interaction with others
After interacting with the dolls, many people with dementia experience an increase in their levels of communication with others. This can be particularly beneficial for care givers who are looking after them, as well as their families who treasure the interaction with their loved ones.
4. Reminiscing on positive memories
People will dementia often have children and grandchildren of their own. Taking care of the dementia dolls with life-like features can often remind them of positive memories from when they have taken care of their own families. Or for some, it simply creates a pleasant feeling of reminiscence or affection.
Top tip: Dementia dolls should be introduced to people living with dementia gradually, if the person is not initially interested, re-introduce the dolls a few weeks later.
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