This entry from retired doctor Jennifer Bute, shared 13Oct2022 on FaceBook.

A resident came down to lunch with a large undressed doll, and said to me, “Don’t be shocked, I have just had a baby!”
“Oh how exciting,” I said. “Someone to love and look after!”
“Yes,” she said smiling happily, and I tried to encourage the others at her table to welcome this for her sake, which they graciously did as she tried to feed it peas that ended up all over the floor.
There is a belief that dolls in dementia are demeaning and should be discouraged.
One lady who carried her doll everywhere and loved
accompanying my young granddaughter
as she was pushing her dolls pram around the place some years ago
became really distraught when she was moved into
another facility where dolls were not accepted
and had it taken away from her.

The doll had become a continuous link in her disintegrating world – a sense of companionship that was always present. This is completely different from talking to people with dementia with infantile language or deceiving them in some way which is not acceptable. We can make assumptions as to what is appropriate – dogs are accepted, so why not dolls?

Often for a person with advanced dementia a doll can provide solace and purpose, reduce agitation and sadness, and be of great benefit. Just as any ‘therapy’ aims to be, such as pets, gardening, music, cooking, painting, and interacting with preschool children – so why not dolls?

Leah Bisiani, a Dementia consultant has done research that reinforces ‘doll therapy as a therapeutic encounter respecting meaning in reciprocal relationships.’


Index for Jennifer’s pages on this blogsite at .

Jennifer Bute originally shared this at on 13Oct2022.  Shared by permission on 14Oct2022, with final approval 26Oct2022.


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Tags: activities, alzheimers, comfort, dementia, doll, person with dementia, PLwD, strategy, therapy.  S&S categ: therapy . Registered & Protected .

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