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If you have ever paid a visit to a loved one at The Households of Bethany, you may have seen some residents holding baby dolls, this is not by accident. Our nursing and life enrichment teams have worked together to make roughly two dozen dolls available to our residents who have been diagnosed with some sort of memory impairment. According to the National Library of Medicine, in 90% of Alzheimer’s cases, symptoms such as agitation, psychosis, apathy, sleep disorders, appetite changes, euphoria, irritability, aberrant motor behavior, depression, and anxiety appear. As research continues to show, these baby dolls are an extremely effective tool in helping to alleviate some of the psychological and cognitive symptoms previously listed.

When the nurses notice that a memory care resident is beginning to exhibit any abnormal behaviors/tendencies, they do what they can to try and redirect their attention and sometimes that means giving them a baby doll to look after. “You would be amazed to see the effect these dolls have on some residents,” said Assistant Director of Nursing Marie Mourlam. “We have even given men a doll to take care of if they are having a hard day and it is fascinating to watch their paternal instinct kick in and their mood quickly change.”

Bethany Life recently received a donation of four brand new baby dolls, two boys and two girls, from one of our PRNs, Kathy Chapple. Partnering with Norma’s Kidz, Kathy sponsored the four dolls and donated them to The Households of Bethany’s memory care households. This donation is one that our life enrichment and nursing staff greatly appreciates. On average, a doll usually has a life span of no more than a year because of general wear and tear. Donations like this one go a long way in helping to improve the wellbeing of our residents. If you feel called to sponsor a baby doll here at The Households of Bethany, please contact our Life Enrichment Manager Elizabeth Murphy,