Many times you will see seniors who have dementia with stuffed animals or dolls. Usually, they are petting them or talking to these toys. Doll therapy is when you use dolls to ease stress in those who have dementia or Alzheimer’s. This type of treatment is controversial at the moment because it could be seen as demeaning to have an older adult play with a doll as if they were a kid.
Is Doll Therapy Helpful or Hurtful?
Despite the controversy, many senior communities around the country are using doll therapy. It can bring out the best in people and even encourage social activity. Many times, those with dementia or Alzheimer’s still want to feel useful and feel a connection, even if they can’t remember much of their own life.
Those who use this therapy never try to convince seniors the dolls are real, and they aren’t trying to make them seem like children. They see it as a new form of communication.
The benefits of this type of therapy are that it can reduce the need for medications, lower anxiety, and allow seniors to communicate better. Some people believe that the doll can give older adults an anchor in uncertain times. It can also provide them with a sense of independence. It can even allow individuals who can’t participate in activities a way to interact with others.
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