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Hello all. My MIL has moderate to moderately severe dementia. She has generalized anxiety, which is understandable. She currently has a Raggedy Ann doll that she carries around and sleeps with. She likes to "care" for the doll, dressing and undressing her. Do any of you have loved ones with dementia who have dolls? Do you find them effective in soothing anxiety?

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My MIL had dolls to "fill her arms again."  She loved her dolls and so does my Mother.  When my sister-in-law bought her a doll about five years ago, I thought it was rather odd - but I've come to understand that they are very comforting.  I put her doll to bed with her every night and she doesn't really relax until I do!  One morning I woke to find an arm missing.  Took a while, but I sewed it back on.  Mother loves when I tuck her in (just like a child).
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Reply to dlpandjep
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My grannie had a new born baby doll and she loved to care for it. We would buy her baby clothes at the thrift stores and she would be so happy that the baby got a new outfit.

So I believe that it helps them feel purposeful and that helps with lessening anxiety.

We also played catch with stuffed animals, no hard facial parts, that way a miss didn't result in injury. We would tease and laugh and it was always a good visit. Interaction with others is so very important.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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It’s very common. My Mom missed her cat when she moved to NH, but she has a large soft Snoopy that she cuddles with at night. She says everybody needs somebody to cuddle. There are many dolls on the market for this very purpose. A few other ladies have baby dolls they hold on their laps during the day. See The Alzheimer’s Store.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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My mother’s roommate had a number of dolls she carried around. A few would be on her bed and she’d carry one around. She always had a doll in her arms. It was accepted by the staff and other residents in MC. I warned my mother to leave her dolls alone and even she listened. The woman was calm and quiet. I’d say it worked, yes. It brings no harm to anyone as long as the dolls are clean and staff is asked to make sure no one “messes” with them.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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