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Therapy doll donation brings comfort to local long-term care residents (3 photos)

Doll therapy can help seniors living with dementia feel useful, says Plan A Algoma director of operations

Last week, 16 therapy dolls were donated to residents of two local long-term care homes by Plan A Algoma. Each long term care home received eight dolls. 

Doll therapy involves offering dolls to adults who are living with dementia or other medical conditions. These dolls have the appearance of realistic babies, and can help with improving comfort, engagement, and quality of life. Doll therapy is typically used for people who are in the middle or late stages of dementia.

“Therapy dolls can help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to focus on. The medical profession has recognized that these dolls can trigger positive memories and prevent agitation and anxiety,” said Lisa Collins, director of operations at Plan A Algoma, in an email to SooToday.

“Our owner and operator Sheri Ann Morin brought the idea forward to our team and we thought it was phenomenal. She wanted to give back to the community and give back to the residents of our partnered homes. She was the one who spearheaded the project,” she told us.

“While we were preparing the dolls to go to the homes, we felt exactly what those dolls are supposed to do: spark joy. We all enjoyed dressing, diapering and swaddling the dolls in preparation to be delivered. We can’t wait to see the happiness these little babies bring each resident that receives one,” Collins said. “We are very excited and very hopeful that it will bring joy to the residents, especially during this pandemic where their visits have been limited or they have been in precaution mode where they’re not able to socialize as much as usual.”

Many Plan A Algoma staff members were involved in this initiative, including owner and operator Sheri Ann Morin, director of operations Lisa Collins, community liaison Kristy Dube, and recruitment manager Stefanie Forbes. 

“We hope this provides happiness to the residents of these homes. I also would like to recognize the generosity of Sheri Ann Morin and her constant willingness to give back to Sault Ste. Marie,” Collins said.