Does Mom with Alzheimer’s need a Baby Doll?
I use to wonder if Mom (with Alzheimer’s) might like a baby doll of her own? She was so drawn to babies. Any sort of baby, actually; Baby kittens, baby pictures, real live babies or even baby dolls. She would oooh and ahh over my granddaughters baby dolls like they were the real thing.
My mom loved to shop. It wasn’t that she liked buying things but she loved shopping. The soft elevator music in the background, the busy aisles filled with friendly, smiling people. The scramble to find the perfect item before her best friend bought it.
Mom and I could shop for hours and sit for even longer watching other people shop. Some of my favorite conversations with Mom happened at the open-air Pizza Pub inside the mall where we always stopped to catch our breath.
Then Alzheimer’s came visiting and gradually our shopping venues shrank. From the busy bustling super Malls to smaller and smaller shopping centers. Eventually Mom was quite satisfied with the neighborhood Dollar Store. Fewer aisles meant less walking for mom and fewer people to watch.
Still, I can’t count the times I’ve lost track of her. She would wander away trailing a young mother with child or any baby stroller with a tiny bundle inside.
Mom loved babies. And her mother loved babies too. During Mom’s younger years she would tell stories of Grandma and her final days with Alzheimer’s.
My grandmother had roamed the halls of a nursing home for two years searching for her lost, newborn baby. Constantly distraught and agitated, Grandma was certain that her baby was in distress and needed her to be nursed back to health.
For several years during the late stages of dementia, my Grandma cried endless tears for a “need” that could have been so easily met. And I feared the same for my own Mother when her love to be around small children escalated right along with the progression of dementia. Eventually, Mom forgot the stories she had shared with me about Grandma’s depression and desperate search for a newborn baby that was only a vacant memory.
Then, near the end of Mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia, those sad memories returned and Mom began to pine for her own lost baby that did not exist.
I’d read an article that seemed silly at the time, but decided to try it when nothing else salved Mom’s sadness. I found the perfect, cherub faced, plump little baby doll that smiled broadly from morning to night. Mom carried and loved that baby, proud that her baby had such a sweet disposition. I was relieved as well, and only wished I could have done the same for my grandmother all those many years ago.
The Real “feel like” baby dolls
Paradise Galleries Lifelike Realistic Weighted Baby Doll, Tall Dreams, 10 Piece Ensemble, 19-inch, Ages 3+Baby Doll That Looks Real, Baby Layla, 21 inch Flex-Touch Vinyl, with Weighted BodyAndrea Arcello Ashley Breathing Lifelike Baby Doll: So Truly Real – 17
And more life-like Baby Dolls any Mom would love