26 2017 May

How can Doll Therapy help those with Dementia?

How much do you know about Doll Therapy?


Find out how it used and why it might a help a loved one living with a form of dementia.


Doll therapy is a relatively new form of therapy, originating in The United States, that has opened plenty of discussion around the world.  It can be a hugely beneficial practice when done sensitively and correctly.  Doll therapy has been shown to promote feelings of calm, can lower stress levels and hugely improve the quality of life of a person with dementia.


If you feel like this form of therapy could be useful for your loved one it is important to consider the following points:


1.  Doll therapy works best in the mid stages of dementia.


2.  You must never physically hand a doll over to your loved one or push them into interacting with a doll, this may be confusing and make them feel pressurised.


3.  Leave the doll nearby, if your loved one wishes to interact with it they will in time.


4.  Make sure the doll is lifelike, a knitted doll or teddy won’t tap into the same desire to nurture.


5.  Avoid electronic dolls, ones that make noises or cry can cause confusion, upset and may cause your loved one to feel agitated.



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Recent research which is listed on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website, and carried out by Gary Mitchell RN for his excellent book, Doll Therapy in Dementia Care, highlights the ‘proven positive impact’ that doll therapy has on the well-being of those living with a form of dementia.


In the past, when we traditionally lived in more extended families, grandparents would have had a greater role in spending time with a grandchild and perhaps cuddling them on their lap, so it makes sense that this form of therapy feels very natural to many people with dementia. It’s not just one for the ladies either, men have a nurturing side too.


Doll Therapy has not been without its critics; some people have viewed it as demeaning or felt that it is dishonest. Here at Bridgewater Home Care we feel that if done sensitively and appropriately it can be a hugely beneficial form of therapy, fulfilling a need and bringing joy into the lives of our clients. We all crave significant and meaningful attachments throughout our lives and those of us living with a form of dementia are no different.


If you would like to know more about Doll Therapy and how it could help your loved one, please contact us today on 01942 215888 or email

Get in touch..

Head Office

Bridgewater Home Care
1 Beecham Court

Tel: 01942 215 888


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