Monday, May 20, 2013
Doll therapy in aged care
Just read this on the Spark of Life website. It resonated with me as something that might relate to some people with PIMD.
If you support the use of doll therapy, you are likely to have had positive, personal experience that dolls have strong symbolic meaning and provide purpose, nurture and healing for people with dementia. As a result you are most likely passionate about these outcomes and will fight for Doll Therapy to be an integral part of the therapy program.
On the opposite side, you may have thoughts such as: I'd rather die than imagine myself as an old person in a nursing home, walking around with a doll. You are genuinely concerned that introducing dolls can be childish, demeaning, maybe even patronising and often feel so strongly about your point of view that you ensure dolls are not permitted in your facility.
If you belong to this side, undoubtedly, you genuinely want the best for people with dementia and respect and dignity are high on your agenda. The way you assess whether Doll Therapy is acceptable or not is based on the thinking: Do unto others as you would like done unto you. This is a perfectly logical and rational conclusion.
This same logical, rational thinking is still active in most people in the early stages of dementia. However there is a distinct difference in the way a person who has moved beyond the early stages of dementia thinks. T his person may now have lost much of their memory and their logical, rational thinking as well as their social inhibitions. The beliefs and values they used to uphold are no longer important to them. They live in the moment - and that is all that matters!
When you care for a person in the later stages of dementia, it can serve you both well to consider a change of thinking from: How will the person respond to this activity? To: What activity will this person respond to?