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Introducing Reborns with Reason - A Community Outreach Program 

To celebrate Senior Citizen's day, Paradise Galleries has partnered with our guest blogger Jaime Beebe from Reborns with Reasons, to highlight the emotional support found from using reborn dolls as a therapy support tool. Her work is providing so much joy to many, and we can't wait to share her story with our Paradise Galleries fans. 

" My name is Jaime Beebe and I am the founder of Reborns With Reasons; A Community Outreach Program that volunteers directly with our senior community providing doll therapy.

I discovered my love for reborn dolls in October 2016. I have always loved dolls even before I could walk. I began my collection of reborns solely for myself but quickly learned the therapeutic benefits these babies hold.

So in the summer of 2017 after doing some research and discovering that these babies are great therapy for many reasons including those suffering from a loss of a child, those who can't have children, those suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, anxiety or even empty nest syndrome, I ventured into my very first nursing home to provide "comfort therapy."

Many will ask, is doll therapy just sitting and cuddling a baby? The answer; basically yes! The physical aspect is the holding, rocking and cuddling but the emotional aspect dives even deeper. Holding a baby has been proven to release Oxytocin, the "feel good" hormone. The release of that hormone coupled with the weight of the baby (similar to that of a weighted blanket) provide immediate comfort for many. Those with a form of dementia benefit highly for various reasons.

Holding a baby brings them back to a time in their lives that they remember, maybe memories of their own children or even growing up themselves with young siblings, most are usually happy memories! Caring for a baby can make the patient feel like they have a purpose in life and for some, it's finding that companionship while remembering something familiar and being capable of having a conversation. No resident has yet to forget how to hold a baby! This instinct is a big reason why this therapy is so effective.

So, how are dolls therapeutic to those with memory care issues?

There are many ways dolls can be therapeutic for someone battling Alzheimer's or dementia. As humans we have the instinct to nurture. We want to show affection, to give love, and to receive love. That need doesn’t go away, even as memories deteriorate with dementia.

Doll therapy can be a very effective way for a person with Alzheimer's or any kind of dementia to decrease stress and agitation.

Holding something like a baby doll can be calming and soothing in itself and is a great non-medicating way of calming an agitated patient

Sundowning is a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. It's also known as “late-day confusion.”

Sundowning can cause a variety of behaviors, such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering. If someone you care for has dementia, their confusion and agitation may get worse in the late afternoon and evening.

For Hilda, 4:00 pm is a tough time Fortunately, the facility where she resides are the recipients of a Paradise Galleries Born to be Spoiled donation baby!

The staff give Hilda the task of "babysitting" when she begins sundowning and this helps to ease her through this difficult period of time.

Dolls can provide comfort and companionship and they have shown to improve communication. A doll can help a person who is not verbalizing to initiate speech again. It is part of the basic thought process to speak, hum or sing to a baby in your arms. Many residents sing to our babies, that's one of my favorite interactions!

Often times memories spark when a doll is placed in the arms of someone with Alzheimer's. Patients remember details about their own children when they were young, often bringing instant happiness and joy.

Holding a doll can allow those with Alzheimer's to feel in control after having lost much control in their lives already."

A Reborn baby doll can:

• Calm someone who is upset;

• Provide endless hours of hugs and smiles;
• Lull a person to sleep;

• Create a distraction from a dangerous, harmful or upsetting event;

• Serve as an attention-getter;

• Provide a tool for social interaction;

• Regenerate warm, nurturing feelings of once again caring for a young child;

• Make it possible for someone, totally dependent upon others, to care for ‘someone’ else