We are introducing doll therapy into our suite of activities and support sessions at The Manor House. Research has shown that many people with dementia are soothed and comforted by holding a doll or a soft animal.
We regularly bring in animals and pets for our residents to stroke or hold as this brings both joy and feelings of calm and comfort and now have introduced the use of dolls.
Doll therapy is not ‘playing with dolls’ as it may first appear, as with all of our activities these are provided to offer different types of benefits. The introduction of dolls is a form of therapy that is intended to promote feelings of relaxation and pleasure and can be particularly beneficial to someone feeling anxious.
Holding a doll can be very soothing and often takes people back to a time when they had young children of their own which invokes feelings of content, calm and happiness. As well as holding a dolls, giving residents the chance to care for a doll can give someone with dementia a sense of purpose which impacts their energy levels and mood.
As with all of our activities, they are introduced gradually and appropriately for every resident, we explain why they are there and encourage residents to take part in the activity alongside the Activities Team and Healthcare Assistants.
Jayne Wood, Director of Nursing said, “we’re hoping the introduction of doll therapy will be another activity that can offer improved wellbeing amongst many of our residents in the way we see when we bring in pets and animals. Every new therapy we introduce is backed up by research and evidence to have a positive impact on the overall wellbeing of our residents.”