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The Play Pen
Cuddle Therapy
Cuddle Therapy is a revolutionary, non-invasive Alternative Care Therapy often used with individuals with Alzheimer's or Dementia.
 It is also becoming more popular with adolescent therapy, loss therapy, and for the terminally ill. 
Reborn Doll Therapy: and its benefits to 
Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients
Reborn Doll Therapy:
Many dementia patients suffer from agitation and distress, doll therapy can alleviate this. Dementia patients can be withdrawn and communication between patients and caregivers difficult, reborn dolls have been shown to vastly help in these areas. The British Psychological Society Conference presented this research into reborn doll therapy.
Reborn doll therapy seems to work extremely well with female patients as it takes them back to a time when they were housewives and highly productive. Due to effects of dementia many of these patients still believe they are young, so when they adopt a reborn doll, it brings back happy memories of parenthood. Having a doll can reawaken positive memories of being useful and needed; being loved and of loving.
Doll Therapy is best introduced in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's. In the early stages the patient may know the reborn doll is not real but will enjoy the pleasures of naming it and constantly changing it's clothes. Women in the middle stages of the disease are likely to communicate with the doll; The Alzheimer patient may communicate with the doll through singing, talking and cuddling. They start to become extremely attached to their doll and keep it with them for many hours of the day.
Introducing a doll in the late stages of Alzheimer's is not quite as effective as in the early stages. Introducing a doll in the early stages will allow the owner to become used to it and as the disease progresses the bond is set and the patient will be able to get comfort from the doll well into the later stages.
Reborn dolls however, are not a cure and the sufferer will not suddenly transform back to their former self because of a reborn doll but it is the comfort the patient feels that is the real benefit of reborn doll therapy.
"I have worked with people with Alzheimer's disease for 12 years and if you ever witnessed one of my residents singing, cooing, interacting with the life-like doll, you would know that it does work. Many of our ladies were homemakers and their number one priorities were family. It was a time in their life when they were useful and had a sense of purpose. A reborn doll can bring a patient back to a time in their life where they felt secure and in control. We must join them on their journey, not ours!" (A quote from a discussion forum for Alzheimer's patients).
If you are touched by the above story and feel this may be your niche for making reborn dolls, we suggest you first visit your local nursing homes to get a better idea of what is needed. Nursing homes do not always have the finances to buy full priced reborn dolls so you may need to get in touch with the family members of patients. The positive effects of dolls needs to be demonstrated to the nursing home for them to get behind doll therapy.
Take some evidence to the homes with you about the positive effects of reborn dolls on Alzheimer's and Dementia patients.
This is a very rewarding market to be in. To help the elderly live out their years feeling more comfortable and in control is a great gift that your reborn dolls can give to society.

These patients do not have Alzheimer's or Dementia. They are just lovely ladies from the local Assisted Living home we volunteer at who love holding the babies too!
Reborn Doll Therapy: Discovering The Help It Provides Alzheimer's And Dementia Patients
By Andrew Scherer

It was not too long ago when dolls are just plain dolls. Those were the days when dolls are just inanimate objects and fake-looking. Dolls have that same look and feel, not until the emergence of superior and exceptional types of dolls. Reborn dolls have broken the trend of dolls. With the advent of reborns, dolls were taken on a whole new look and feel with more realism.

Yet, the captivation of everybody on the realism of reborn dolls has not stop there. Reborn dolls have exceeded the notion of just being realistic-looking dolls. When they started to penetrate the mainstream media and the doll industry. reborn baby dolls become instantly popular. Today, these lifelike baby dolls have achieved mass media coverage, not only as valuable collector's items, but also as effective treatment adjuncts to Alzheimer's and Dementia patients.

The contribution of reborn dolls in treating Alzheimer's and dementia patients is undeniably prized and respected. Although the reborn doll therapy in these patients are not that reputable, there are accounts and experiences that evidenced positive effects in Alzheimer's and dementia patients recently. This success of reborn doll therapy is predominantly ascribed with the reduction of the patient's dependency to psychotropic drugs. 

In dementia patients, reborn doll therapy helps in the reduction of withdrawals. It also helps in overcoming communication crisis between the patient and caregiver. Records show that female dementia patients respond more better to the reborn doll therapy. Female dementia patients respond positive to reborns as these dolls help them reminisce the times when they were still housewives and very productive. As they adopt the reborn doll in their therapy, the patients' memories as parents are recollected. As they consider the doll their child, it will revive the moments in their lives when they were useful, productive, being loved, and being able to love. 

The reborn doll therapy is commonly introduced in the early and middle stages of the Alzheimer's disease. this is done so that the patient will be accustomed to the doll. As the disease condition progresses, the patient will be bonded with the doll. Though at the earlier stages, the patient may consider the doll as fake. Nevertheless, the patient will enjoy to naming the doll and changing its clothes. As the therapy evolves, the patient will communicate with the doll and find comfort in its presence. The Alzheimer's patients will become calm and be open to communicate with others. 

Reborn therapy is not a cure to dementia and Alzheimer's. The patients will not turn back to their former selves if exposed to such an intervention. The therapy is just an additional treatment strategy to make the patient more comfortable, cooperative, and open to communication. It can provide the patient with the sense of self worth and belongingness. 

Obviously, reborn baby dolls have confirmed to be helpful because their benefits are irrefutable. This is the reason why reborns have gained more media coverage recently. Reborn dolls for sale are increasingly crowding shops and online stores.

Alzheimer's caregivers say their patients stopped wandering, arguing, and putting things in their mouths when introduced to the reborn dolls.  
But what is a Reborn Doll? 
A Reborn Doll is a vinyl doll made from a blank vinyl or silicone doll kit, or a standard store bought doll whose paint has been stripped off, then painted to look like a real baby. The detail on these dolls is complete down to the veins in the head, arms, and legs. Each artist puts his or her own personal touch on each doll they make. There are hundreds if not thousands of doll kits to choose from, each ranging in price from $30 up to $150 or more.The artists then paint or root the hair on the dolls with Angora, Alpaca or sometimes Human hair with special needles that push 1-2 hairs through the vinyl at a time. The head and limbs are weighted with tiny glass beads to give the doll a realistic "floppy" baby feel. The dolls are then dressed in real baby clothes and wear real diapers. Magnets are sometimes used behind the dolls mouth to hold special pacifiers in place. The final product is amazingly lifelike to look at and hold.

Central Ohio Alzheimer's Association Sunday Adult Day Care Program coordinators started testing the dolls in April 2004 and saw immediate results. "The lower functioning group held on to the baby and enjoyed cuddling it. The higher functioning group really took notice of the doll's realistic features," said Lisa Brosnahan, Sunday Adult Day Care program coordinator. "One woman became very calm and didn't pace as much." Coordinators also found patients' hands remained busy with the dolls, discouraging them from taking and hiding items that don't belong to them. The reborn doll definitely received a stronger reaction from the group than other dolls we've used," said Brosnahan.  
Reborns are becoming widely available online. Independent artists put their own creative touch on the dolls. Each doll becomes a One Of A Kind Creation, making them more desirable to doll collectors and enthusiasts. You can actually custom order a reborn to look any way you want it. There are thousands of doll kits to choose from with a wide range in price. 
A study performed at Florida Gulf Coast University funded by the National Alzheimer's Association tested the response of 20 subjects to the reborn doll. The research team found the doll to be "very superior to any other dolls or stuffed animals currently being used in long-term care sites." Research associate, Suzanne Fitzsimmons also said, "this product is a 'must have' for any residential facility that cares for older adults with Alzheimer's or dementia. 
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