Angie's Lil Dumplins Reborn Doll Nursery

Comfort Therapy Dolls For Alzheimer's And Dementia Patients

For some time now I had been hearing about the benefits of reborn dolls for Alzheimer's and Dementia patients.  It seems that holding a reborn doll can calm them to the point of being able to communicate and take instruction.  There are many great articles on the internet that give information about this.  Here is a link to one:

In 2011 I had the great privilege of donating a reborn baby to our new St. Mary's Center for Alzheimer's and Dementia Care.  It is a beautiful facility and you can see more about it here:

Doll Therapy article

This article was published in 2011 on the St. Mary's Foundation Annual Newsletter.  (Here is a link to the Foundation web page.  I was so proud to see them make mention of the doll therapy!   Click on the tab  Annual Publication to read their current great articles)

Since the newsletter changes annually I have copied and pasted the article below to save for future reference. 

Doll Therapy:A Special Kind of Caring

St. Mary’s Center for Alzheimer’s and  Dementia Care is implementing a special  kind of therapy using handmade newborn baby dolls to stimulate and connect with  residents battling Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. St. Mary’s Center for       
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care now has two handmade therapy dolls, Parker and Noelle, handcrafted and donated by Angie
Jones, a reborn doll artist.Doll therapy brings a sense of peace to residents,” shares Gina Hobbs, Activities Coordinator at St. Mary’s Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care. Hobbs explains the benefits of oll therapy. “Holding and nurturing dolls increases the residents’ focus and ommunication, decreases agitation and improves morale.” She continues, Older adults fear losing control and independence, especially living in an assisted living community. The dolls provide them with a sense of comfort.”  St. Mary’s Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care has a room designated as the “Doll Room,” where residents seek out and nurture the dolls. “Patients battling dementia and Alzheimer’s lose short term memory first and often revert to their life as it was many years ago,” Hobbs explains. “At these moments, it is important to acknowledge where the mind is taking them and for us to meet them at that point.”  It is this “meeting of the minds” that inspires Hobbs in her career  working with dementia patients. “In my job, life is about living in the  moment. I am motivated to make our residents happy today, and I can’t
worry about tomorrow.”

2011 Lil Dumplins Nursery interview

In 2011 I was interviewed for an article in a local newspaper,
The Oconee Leader. 
I was pleased with the way it turned out.
The first page photo is me holding my reborn Brooke.
The photo on page 2 was taken of some of the babies in my crib.
the 2 babies on the left are reborns and the
Emily is a regular Ashton Drake doll.

Comfort Therapy Babies I have made

 I have learned through experimentation that the best dolls for comfort therapy for the aging are either 18-20" length 1/4 limbed  babies or smaller sized  3/4 limbed babies.   The best weight would be between 3-4 lbs.  This is because dead weight feels heavier and older people have a harder time holding a heavy baby for a long enough period of time to enjoy their cuddle factor.  If making a comfort therapy doll for someone who is not aging then the weight could be a more realistic 5 lbs or so.  

Comfort therapy dolls are usually made according to my Simply Baby line which is a less expensive doll that does not hair rooted hair to worry about mussing up.  It is also best to use open eyed sculpts for comfort therapy dolls.  I was told by the professionals that sometimes the elderly will get upset if their baby does not wake up so sleeping babies are better avoided.  I also observed first hand that they often really enjoy looking into the eyes of the baby and talking to them.  

To read more about the Simply Baby Line go toSimply Baby™ Reborns

Memorable Moments

I can not tell you how rewarding it is to see the faces light up as the baby is held.  It really does seem to bring comfort to patients.  I strongly encourage those who have family members with Alzheimer's or Dementia to consider getting a reborn doll for them.   

Here are some photographs of the residents at St. Mary's Center enjoying new baby Parker.