Recreating little moments
Doll therapy is a form of attachment therapy that is widely used with people living with dementia. Taking care of a doll, which we refer to as a baby, provides them with the opportunity to care for others, to recall the responsibility that came with raising their own children or younger family members, to provide a sense of purpose and, most of all, to draw comfort from the act of soothing, snuggling, and loving the child in their arms.
Often, doll therapy is seen as a female-centric attachment activity, but equal success has been observed with men living with dementia.
Our friend Peter was a lovely example of a nurturing and caring gentleman who was drawn to taking care of the babies in his home area. On any given day, he could be seen sitting beside the bassinet rocking the baby or pushing the pram around the home area for a little walk. His attention was never far from the babies he took care of, such that one day upon making his way to lunch, he stopped the team member he was walking with and guided her into the lounge so that he could check on the baby and rearrange their blankets before heading into the dining room.
The opportunity to demonstrate care for and love of others helps create the feeling of wellbeing for a person living with dementia.