What is Baby Doll Therapy for Senior Alzheimer’s Patients?

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How Baby Doll Therapy Helps Seniors with Alzheimer’s

By Lesa Hardiman, 9:00 am on

Seniors with Alzheimer’s often benefit from medications proven to ease the severity of symptoms associated with the disease. However, supplemental, non-medical therapies are continually being tested with some showing significant promise. One such therapy gaining momentum is Baby Doll Therapy, in which elderly Alzheimer’s patients care for lifelike baby dolls. The theory behind doll therapy is that seniors with mental processing disorders can find purpose in life by nurturing and taking responsibility for the day-to-day needs of a baby.

The introduction of a baby doll to a senior can be a sensitive procedure. If a caregiver or family member simply hands the doll over and assigns the responsibility of caring for it, the response is usually a heightened sense of stress. The Grand Rapids 24/7 live-in care experts recommend leaving the doll in the senior’s room and allowing him or her to discover it and begin caring for it on their own. In some instances, Alzheimer’s patients who have not been speaking for quite some time begin to verbalize to the baby doll or recall early memories of parenting their own children.

Baby doll therapy, however, is not necessarily a good option for every senior with Alzheimer’s. Some critics complain the therapy is demeaning and feel aged relatives should not be treated like children. It’s also better suited for seniors receiving Alzheimer’s home care in Grand Rapids, as seniors with Alzheimer’s who live in a community setting can become possessive over their dolls and provoke confrontations with other residents. It’s also possible for seniors to get overstimulated and start putting the perceived baby’s needs above their own. If you think your senior loved one might benefit from Baby Doll Therapy, speak with his or her physician before introducing a doll.

If you’re the sole provider of care for your loved one, you might also consider help from Home Care Assistance, the trusted provider of home care in Grand Rapids. Our expertly trained caregivers can provide your loved one with the comprehensive care he or she needs, while allowing you to resume your role as loving family member. Give us a call today at 616-243-0835 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.