Three dementia therapy dolls have proved a hit with residents at Camelot Care’s Camelot House and Lodge in Wellington, Somerset.
The three baby dolls, who have been named Violet, Isobel and Lavender by residents, have been provided to offer emotional comfort and reminiscence stimulation for residents.
Activities co-ordinator Richard Dempslake said: “Our residents love to hold the babies, sometimes holding on to them all day, rocking them and singing to them, basically rediscovering the warm, nurturing feelings of caring for a young child.”
Nurture therapy is recommended by Dementia UK, who report that having a doll to interact with can stimulate communication, leading also to improvements in communication with other people.
It is known that cooing to a baby doll can sometimes serve as a trigger to resume communication for people with dementia who have not spoken for months.
Proper therapy dolls are life-like in feel and weight and are dressed like a real baby. They should be carefully introduced in a controlled atmosphere, allowing the resident to ‘take responsibility’ if they wish to, and this can reintroduce valuable structure to people’s lives.
Employed in this way, the dolls seem to inspire a renewed sense of purpose, which can lead to increased activity levels and liveliness.
Other benefits include the dolls serving as a distraction from a dangerous, harmful or upsetting event.