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Mom constantly asks about getting a job. She lives in AL facility. Her short term memory is pretty much gone. I tell her that I'll see what I can do, or that I'll look into finding something for her. She asked me today if I had any friends with small children that she could babysit. She did babysit children years ago. I'm thinking about a special doll that is recommended for Alzheimer's patients. I've seen them on Amazon. Have any of you purchased one of these dolls for your LO? How do I present it to my mom if I do get one for her? Many thanks.

True story. Somewhere in the late 1940 when I was a small child my father would make his annual trip to the (then) " Old Folks Home " . He played Santa Claus and every resident got a gift. He contacted the staff ahead of time to get their gift wishes. One year this lovely black lady who was bedridden only wanted a black baby doll. She was insistent that was all she wanted in the whole world. Now sadly back in those days finding a black baby doll was extremely difficult. My father worried and fretted over this task. He succeeded after much searching. I went with him on the big day. I will always remember how that lady cried happy tears of great joy as she cuddled and kissed her baby. Whispered sweet words to her. Yet there is another blessing to this story. A small little girl learned the Daddy she so loved was a great man.
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 17, 2019
What a special man your dad is.
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I would LOVE to receive the GIFT of a beautiful, durable doll with a wardrobe and even perhaps a tea set or some “care” tools.
If someone were to say to me “I thought this doll was SO DELIGHTFUL, and it reminded me of when you taught me how to take care of my toys (collected dolls....told Aunt Marion you loved her doll collection.... whatever you think might entice her interest) when I was a child. I couldn’t wait for you to see it. Let me leave ‘her’ with you for a day or two to decorate your room”, I’d be delighted.
Then leave it, and observe if/how she utilizes it. Don’t define the new addition to her room by your terms, but let Mom define it by her terms.
If Mom seems to be relating to the doll, ask her what her name is, or if she stays her room and so on.
May or may not work, but this is dementia. See if Mom will choose to engage!
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katydid1 Nov 15, 2019
AnneReid,
What a lovely, thoughtful way to present it!! I LOVE this idea.
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Years ago when mom was in the nursing home, my daughter and I traveled from Texas to Michigan to visit her. It was about this time of year. We stopped on the way and I saw A Christmas sock type doll that played “Santa Baby” When you pushed her foot. Mom was a hoot and I knew she would love it. The nurses called me later after we had returned home and said that the doll was the life of the floor. Residents would come to moms room to visit her doll...named LueLue (moms name was Luella). My daughter named the doll before giving it to mom. That little Christmas doll brought her joy til the day she died.
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 16, 2019
What a great remembrance, thanks for sharing that.
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Another option, for those uninterested in baby dolls or stuffed animals, is fidget quilt. It’s a good way to keep them busy and engaged. They sell them on Amazon and Etsy.
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Reply to Restlessremedy
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Dearest Dementia Caregivers,

Thank you all very much for taking a moment to help me decide how to best handle this doll dilemma. I think what I am going to do is get a doll and tell Mom that I got her a baby to decorate her bed with. Mom recently had to have a smaller bed (I brought her queen bed from home when she moved into AL and now the PT suggests that a twin bed will be better, as it is safer if she falls out and less bulky.) I bought new bedding for Mom's new bed, along with a pretty throw pillow for the center. I'm hoping that a sweetly dressed girl doll will be an added attraction that will become a comfort and a distraction for her.

Again, all your ideas are wonderful! Thank you.
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Getting your mom a baby doll to care for is an EXCELLENT idea! Many dementia and Alzheimer's residents where I work (in a Memory Care community) carry around their baby dolls & get a tremendous amount of comfort from doing so. Be sure to get a blanket to swaddle her in as well.

I hope it works!! Good luck
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AbbyRose Nov 15, 2019
Thank you for your encouraging comment. Mom is not in MC, yet. But, I do believe she will be comforted with a doll. I'm just not sure how to present it to her. Do I carry the doll in wrapped in a pretty blanket and show it to her, and then leave without it? Even though she is delusional, she will know that it is a babydoll. But, then again, she may be delighted. Ugh! What to do.
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My sister was in AL x 2 years. Now she lives in a 6 bed care home. In both residences she gave herself a "job." "I tell them when someone falls." This "job"
kept her walking the halls with her walker. I would give her dollar bills for the
concession machines. "Pat, I cashed your paycheck."
FYI, in this small Care home, the other ladies are in wheelchairs and not walking.
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I’d try this line: ‘my friend is going on holiday with her little girl, and she was worried that her baby wouldn’t be looked after while they were away. I told her that you would be kind and help’. Or 'my friend is down sizing, and didn’t have room for this dear little baby doll that was left behind when her daughter went away’. Based on the lady I saw with one at our local nursing home, I’d say very simple clothes (ie just something you can open up, not a wardrobe of changes), a nice texture, and a wrap up.
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A friend’s Mom living in Memory Care had a whole collection of baby dolls in a basket by her rocking chair. She spent hours rocking her babies. She had them named after her children, even though she no longer recognized her children when they came to visit. Others were named after her nieces and nephews.
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AbbyRose Nov 15, 2019
Thank you, Becky04474, for sharing. Mom isn't in MC, yet. But I'm hopeful a doll will help with her boredom. I'm just not sure how to present it to her. She is delusional most of the time, which is why I think a doll may help. I'm looking for any ideas that will fill her day. The activities where she lives don't hold her attention for long. She gets up and heads back to her room. Thanks, again.
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They gave my grandma a baby doll and it was a great comfort to her. She had cared for many children over her lifetime and particularly loved babies. It was very sweet- they put it in her arms in her coffin when she died.
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