Posted on May 1, 2012 by Milkwood Admin
Many of the residents in our care are happy to see youngsters in and around the homes, bringing smiley faces and a whole host of fun which can capture the attention of some of our more private or quiet residents to engage in conversation; research has suggested that in much the same way, the use of doll therapy with patients suffering with Dementia can be beneficial. This therapy can create a calming effect, improve speech and communication and reduce wandering.
Group Manager Michelle Newcombe first introduced the dolls into some of our homes when she realised that some residents benefitted hugely from being able to cuddle the dolls.
It has been suggested that the introduction of the dolls to the right residents can bring back happy memories of parenthood and of being useful and needed. In these cases doll therapy is very much a nuturing activity as it gives residents a sense of meaning and purpose. In some cases, close family members of our residents have embraced the doll therapy having seen how magical it can be when their Mum or Dad responds in such a way.
Although we have had a positive response from the introduction of the dolls so far, doll therapy is still a controversial intervention as it can be upsetting for families to see their relatives in this infantilised state. We have had relatives and staff question the use of the dolls and we always make sure we fully
explain what doll therapy is. We also realise that this particular type of therapy is not right for all of our residents and is never forced upon anyone. We are planning to introduce more dolls into Milkwood Homes over the coming months having seen the benefits to date.