Doll Therapy for Dementia Patients in Assisted Living

Cuddle Therapy at Spring HillsFor those who love someone with dementia, bearing witness to their elderly relative’s agitation and anxiety can be a devastating experience. At Spring Hill’s memory care facilities, we aspire to enhance our residents’ well-being through supportive and meaningful therapies which have been shown to assist in holistic wellness.

While our caregivers provide many different kinds of recreation therapy, we have repeatedly found that doll therapy provides some of the most therapeutic benefits. It works simply, and, for many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, this therapy safely and effectively eases distress and anxiety.

How Does Doll Therapy Work?

Doll therapy is sometimes referred to as cuddle therapy. This alternative therapy enhances well-being and reduces memory loss-related psychological symptoms and other mental health issues. Residents are given a life-like doll which they care for as they go about their daily activities. By holding the doll, rocking it, and cuddling it, seniors can gain a sense of belonging and renewed purpose and connection. Through this connection, their depression and anxiety can be reduced, while their self-worth and generally feelings of love are improved.

Benefits of Doll Therapy for Easing Anxiety in Dementia Patients

Research has shown that doll therapy tips the balance towards positive behaviors, reducing instances of negative behaviors in dementia patients. Similar to our PAW Program, we’ve seen doll therapy to create a sense of contentment and triggers empathetic responses. Our caregivers have seen doll therapy help our patients by:

  • Providing relief from stress. After holding and rocking a doll, patients can feel calmer and more serene.
  • Reduced instances of wandering, a common occurrence in dementia patients. Since patients feel a sense of purpose in caring for the doll, they are less inclined to wander.
  • Reduces the need for anxiety medications as patients are naturally calmer and happier.
  • Improves self-esteem, as seniors feel more purposeful when they are caring for their doll.

As dementia or Alzheimer’s progresses¬†your loved one can still continue to experience love, peace, and meaning. By implementing the Signature Touches of Spring Hills, we make sure that our residents are given the right resources to help them achieve the best qualify of life possible.

To learn more about the therapy services offered at our memory care assisted living facility, contact us to arrange a tour, or ask any questions you have.