Feb 09, 2016 - 10:05 AM
When you bring her the baby, if she seems to want to care for him/her as she would have her own children, then you will probably want to also give her clothes for the baby, a blanket, etc.
In general, the goal should be to meet your grandmother where she is — to step into her world and validate what she is experiencing.
You are doing the right thing by trying to figure out what would make her feel most at ease and most honored.
Feb 09, 2016 - 12:28 PM
Feb 12, 2016 - 07:28 AM
I cannot be more emphatic when I say YES, they are a GREAT idea! At The Fremont, as with many memory care communities, we maintain what we call "Life Stations" which we use as tools for redirecting residents, especially when they are agitated. Some of the Life Stations change by community. The one in every single memory care we operate, however, is the nursery. In it, we have created a special area with a bassinet, dolls, rocking or gliding chair and even some stuffed animals. The Life Station is not appropriate for every resident, but for some it really means the world in providing compassionate care because there is so much inherent value in a resident with dementia caring for the life of a child. In many ways, I think it can be said that women (especially) are naturally inclined to be a caregiver to infants.
I recently saw a wonderful video that made some viral rounds on social media of a grandmother with dementia who was handed a baby doll. You can watch it here:
"Dementia doll therapy" alzheimer's and Ronney
I have always enjoyed the Maria Shriver blog about Alzheimer's and in this case, I read a good article about using a doll for Alzheimer's care:
I'm not a doctor. There are some people who frown upon dolls as patronizing and even claim that they mask behavioral issues. However, caring for a loved one with dementia is not about the kind of behavior modification techniques that are used to make a child ready for the world. This is about finding some manner of meaningful stimulation for your mom and using any tools at your disposal to reduce agitation. Given our success in the residential Memory Care setting using this particular technique, I say there is nothing to lose so long as it is a help and not more of a burden.