SOCIETY


“Doll therapy”: another step in the fight against Alzheimer’s in Spain

Baku, August 7, AZERTAC

The latest ongoing therapy has been carried out in Spain: non-pharmacological therapies that involve patient-doll interactions. The aim of this therapy is awakening feelings inside the patient that would palliate symptoms caused by Alzheimer’s. What the interaction between patients and dolls turns into, is the patient treating them like real life babies: they sing lullabies to them or even give them kisses. The interactions, in turn, cause a shift from the patient being the person who has to be taken care of, to actually being the care-giver. The therapy aims to stimulate emotional memory, because this is the last type of memory people lose. By stimulating emotional memory, patients are able to recall and keep certain memories and behaviours. The dolls are provided to the patients, for a short period of time, by experts who know how and when to provide them. However, this doll therapy is still in its early stages. The therapy is not to be considered a game, but people also have to realise the many positive effects it might have. There are people against it because they feel it infantilizes the patients. But positive results are what really matter, and this is something the therapy is certainly achieving. Maribel González, the director of the Spanish “Centro de Referencia Estatal de Atención a Personas con Azhéimer y otras Demencias ” (a medical centre for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar), has claimed that as soon as they obtain valid conclusions, they will be publishing a professional guide for both professionals and family. The therapy is certainly a step in the right direction.

Almost 44 million people worldwide suffer from this dreaded condition, and numbers seem to be rising every year. There are numerous therapies that aim to cure, or at least palliate the disease. Such therapies go from musical therapies to building entire villages for people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

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