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Saturday, August 25, 2012

ARTICLE - BENNINGTON HEALTH & REHAB ADDS DOLL THERAPY FOR ALZEIMERS

Bennington Health and Rehab adds doll therapy for Alzheimer's
Saturday August 25, 2012

ZEKE WRIGHT
Staff Writer
 
BENNINGTON -- On Friday, staff and residents at Bennington Health and Rehabilitation Center were introduced to a pair of life-like dolls that will serve as an addition to programming at the center for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Studies have shown that "doll therapy" can have a calming, positive effect on the mood and behavior of individuals with a degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer's, improving their quality of life and reducing dependency on medication.
The two sisters producing the dolls, Kathi George, of Williamstown, Mass., and Julie Crosier, of North Bennington, said that what started as a doll-making hobby turned into a business after they began researching the therapeutic value of the dolls. The pair sold one doll and donated the second Friday, and said they had previously delivered a pair to The Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
The expressions of three residents at the facility lit up and their spirits immediately lifted when the dolls were brought in Friday. "It brings back a lot of good memories," said George. The therapy can be beneficial at all stages of dementia but works best when introduced in the early to middle stages.
Activities Director Marjorie LaFountain said the dolls would be incorporated into new activity programs for those in long-term dementia care. She said the therapy allowed patients to "have something that needs to be took care of, instead of (themselves) needing to be taken care of."

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