Researched Persuasive Argument – f0restrun

A Different Kind of Medicine

A Different Kind of Medicine

In nursing homes, and care centers for dementia, there are different kinds of options for therapy, and medicine to help calm a patient down. Oftentimes medicine and therapy are different, but overlap each other just to help the patient feel okay. But what if there was a way that interlocked medicine and therapy that was just as beneficial as both if not more? 

One may be thinking, how can this be? Or what could possibly simultaneously be medicine and therapy for dementia patients, and the elderly? But there is. It is called play therapy. 

Play therapy can help adults with stress, or developmental issues, for example a patient with dementia that is rapidly progressing, loneliness, depression, anxiety and more. Play therapy was at first developed for children, but has been recognized that it is beneficial for adults too. 

In play therapy, a patient is able to bring positive feelings by being able to care for an object such as a realistic baby doll, or a realistic soft plush. It also can bring back happier memories which leaves them in a more positive state throughout their day. “Play therapy helps restore  the brain chemistry that helps the whole brain operate in a more efficient way, due to childhood stress, or other stressors in daily life.” (Lynn Louise Wonders, 2018) This is particularly true because it helps the adult who is caring for the toy to be able to escape to a happy reality regardless of what they are struggling with at the moment.

It is also important to note that the realistic baby doll doesn’t even have to be realistic looking. In (hallmark homes, 2020) the author of the article mentions how in patients with dementia, the realisticness of these baby dolls can help these patients think about happier memories. They mention how just a weighted regular baby doll can help, they do not even have to be super realistic. The importance of them being weighed is because they are similar to realistic babies, giving them the patient a happy memory of holding children or grandchildren or a pet, or just giving them a calming effect. These dolls are like holding a weighted blanket to calm a person because they are weighted like a real baby. They bring back memories which are positive for dementia patients while being able to calm them down without giving them medicine. 

This is particularly true because they can work out problems without actually having to talk about the past events that upset them. They are able to work out in a positive way to uplift their self-esteem and work out any problems that they may have carried from the past years. Like for example finally forgiving a family member, or coming to terms with missing someone they loved, or missing grandchildren or children. 

It can bring back nostalgic memories which is very positive for patients, because helping dementia care patients with memories at all is a very good sign. Besides, nostalgia is a positive thing, and being able to reflect back on memories that made them happy can help the person feel as if they have a happy hobby to help them escape from reality, or help them relax when they are feeling a bit on edge. 

Doll therapy can give the patients positive memories to think back on. Which overall stabilizes mood, and gives them something to do each day that is stimulating for them. It is a positive hobby that keeps the patient happy and calm. 

In nursing homes, it is important to regulate stress especially in nursing homes, because it causes numerous health problems that can shorten life span. This is also the case with loneliness as well.

In dementia patients and other nursing home adult care places, it helps in dementia patients or adults in homes by giving them an opportunity to be able to socialize with the doctors and other patients who reside there. They are able to create relationships, and talk about things easily with each other because they now have a common happy medium. 

Play therapy is also a form of positive psychology. “Positive psychology is based on science and often uses the scientific method to make analyses. It is simply taking the flip side of traditional psychology (figuring out what makes us depressed, anxious, etc.) and focusing on positive attributes (what makes us feel pleasure, positive thinking, happiness).” (vantage point recovery, 2017). This can explain play therapy because with adults they are able to find things that make them happy, like a hobby. It helps give them a positive standpoint without automatically talking about the negative. It can give the patient positive feelings with the doctor, find out what reduces their stress, help them socialize in homes, and overall feel better about themselves. 

Play therapy with realistic dolls and plushies is just a positive form of medicine and therapy for dementia patients. According to (lynn louise wonders 2018) “it is also recognized that in play therapy, “we noticed alertness, and increased capability to provide responsive answers to questions By using play therapy with adults, they are able to work on cognitive things like video games, or card games or even imaginative play with dolls or stuffed bears.This type of play can also help with memory and help them be able to remember times that they previously weren’t able to remember.”” 

In (the complete guide to doll therapy for people living with alzheimers), the author talks about the experiences of some patients. They talk about one woman for example who had many children, and when she had the dolls she would carefully rock them to sleep and even fall asleep herself. It was calming for her and made her happy. The article also mentions how they have to put a lot of sedatives and medicines to keep the patients calm, but with the dolls they don’t need the medicine because it helps keep them very calm. The author talks about Mitchell, a doctor mentions how it sort of pacifies them and they are settled because of the doll. There is no longer a need for medicine because the dolls already give them a sense of calm.

Giving a patient something as simple as a baby doll can help give them something to do. They are able to have something that makes them feel happy and occupied during the day. They are also able to socialize with other patients about their own dolls and help with social isolation. This article is not saying dolls are an absolute cure for nursing home patients but dolls can definitely help them feel better about their current situation.

Patients who are socially isolated are able to create a bond with their doll, which is positive for their development and gives them healthier ways to cope. It helps them feel better about missing sons and daughters as well as grandchildren who are maybe living far away from them at the current time. Play therapy can have multiple benefits to the people receiving them. 

In (Gorman Anna Health News APR 2016), the author talks about critics’ feelings towards dolls in patient care, and they say that having these dolls are demeaning and infantilize patients. But I think that this is not the case. In the reborn community (a reborn is a realistic baby doll) many adults care for these reborns as a means of therapy. These therapy dolls are not infantilizing because they are not for children. They are meant for adults to care for as if it were a real baby. The purpose of the doll is to be used as a hobby or for medicinal reasons, like dementia, trauma from a loss, anxiety, depression, and other things. 

Critics have claimed that doll therapy may infantilize the elderly, but they are not regressing to a childlike state. They are using an item that is beneficial to their overall health. That isn’t just for a child. It helps relax these patients without giving them medicine, and helps them be able to socialize better as well. Play therapy is often used in dementia care, and it is not just a child thing! It is encouraged for adults to do play therapy because it has a calming effect. Some realistic baby dolls aren’t even for children, so doll therapy is definitely not just a child thing. Even adults without dementia have these toys as a way to cope with loss and depression, as well as just for a hobby stated in the previous paragraph! Also, in some nursing homes they decorate some of the rooms like a nursery which is uncommon for children to play in. 

Critics also state that doll therapy is lying to the patient, by telling them that in fact the toy that they are playing with is the real thing. Giving them a positive way of caring for something that they love is not giving them a false sense of reality. It is in fact helping them. It isn’t lying if it is bringing back positive memories for the patients and helping them feel better about themselves. Just because the patient is treating the toy like it is real does not mean they think it is real. The patient could just find the toy something deeply comforting and genuinely love it. Just because a patient has dementia does not mean they can or cannot differentiate between a doll and a human

In (why play therapy is really really stupid) the author states about children that playing a game once a week with a child and their parents sitting in another room is not going to change their behavior. That is not true. Because play therapy is more than just playing a random game with a patient in a room. You are talking with them about their problems just without directly asking them. They are able to work out how they are feeling without having to talk about why something is not going okay. For example, playing a barbie game and working on a scene like the mom and the daughter are arguing, and how they are going to work together to solve the problem. Or in dementia or elderly patients, if they miss their family, playing with dolls like dressing and feeding and cuddling can help them cope with the fact that they aren’t there. It can help them want to work out problems with their family if they have them because of the doll that their doctors gave them. Play therapy is more than just a simple game, it works out problems without directly heading into what you did wrong. 

In (Gorman, Anna 2016), one of the Alzheimer’s patients’ daughters talks about the benefits of the dolls. She doesn’t know if her mother know the doll is real or not, but she knows that it helps her a lot, and she is okay with that. She talks about the light that comes to her eyes when she holds the doll. This is important because it is a kind of testimonial proof that it helps these patients feel happy and even though the woman sleeps most of the day, when she does wake up she feels happy because she is able to play with these dolls and remember her life beforehand. (Gorman, Anna 2016) also talks about the only time the woman socializes with the staff is when she is with the babies. 

These dolls are some kind of medicine for the patients, and are recognized as so. They make the patients calm without sedating them or pumping them with multiple different medications because they already have something that keeps them calm. It also helps them feel better day to day because they have something that reminds them of family and friends or a beloved pet, or just something that is so cute that it keeps them very happy. It gives them a way to calm down without any side effects. They are able to cope with negative feelings without it being unhealthy. They are also able to relax almost like yoga and keep them happy if they are “caring” for something.

This is what is important in doll care. Adults are able to have something important for them like a hobby and it be healthy. It is important for people to have hobbies that they care about, because it helps ease depression and anxiety and other life threatening issues. Doll therapy can give the patients positive memories to think back on. It can help motivate them to reach out to a family member or help them remember when they took care of children when they were younger which is really good for patients. It overall stabilizes their mood, and gives them something to do each day that is stimulating for them. It is a positive hobby that keeps the patient happy and never upset.

In, the author of the article mentions how in patients with dementia, the realisticness of these baby dolls can help these patients think about happier memories.They mention how just a weighted regular baby doll can help, they do not even have to be super realistic. They also noted that they reported patients interacting more with others. Doll therapy is not only good because it helps them feel calm but it helps them be able to socialize with the other patients and the doctors.  It is amazing to note that these dolls can help these patients think onto happy memories, and help them feel better about the day as well as help them socialize.

 Being able to reflect on happy memories is great for these patients because they are able to think of a time in their life that was great for them, and that impacts their lives greatly from the day they hold these dolls. Reborns, baby dolls, and realistic stuffed animals are not just cute toys for children, they are also objects that benefit a dementia patient’s health. Doing things like dressing, “feeding”, rocking, and cuddling can help the patient feel a lot better and help them to feel less lonely. This can also give them something to do on a daily basis, and be able to discuss with other patients and doctors, giving them a social aspect of having these realistic baby dolls.  Patients are able to stick to a “routine” in their hobby that calms and makes them happy. They are using healthy ways to cope, and a great use of therapy. Patients are able to bond with something and that helps them with the feeling of not being socially isolated.

It is not just the elderly that benefit from these realistic dolls though. They are also an outlet for many women and men who are experiencing loss, mental health issues and many other reasons. They are able to cope with their feelings in a positive way by being with a weighted realistic doll that helps them relax almost like a weighted blanket. They give women something to do each day by providing them a healthy hobby and a nice way to cope with missing children or just feeling depressed or other mental health issues. They provide the same results as they do with the dementia patients, and are why they are so popular in one community, and why they are hundreds to thousands of dollars. 

In the article that was used in this paper, it states that humans need attachment in order to grow into normal and healthy beings, and that is definitely true when helping the elderly. Giving them a healthy attachment is beneficial to their health. It is important for people to have a bond with someone and something, and especially while they are dealing with something like living in a nursing home in an isolated situation it is important for humans to have an attachment to something like that. Humans need something to care for, or something important to them, because it is beneficial to their health.


“7 Benefits of Applied Positive Psychology and Why It Matters.” Vantage Point Recovery, 17 Sept. 2021, 

Gorman, Anna. “Doll Therapy May Help Calm People with Dementia, but It Has Critics.” NPR, NPR, 3 Oct. 2016,’s%20used%20to%20help%20 ease,the%20need%20for%20psychotropic%20 medication. 

Lynn Louise Wonders 22 Apr 2018, et al. “Play Therapy with Adults.” The Play Therapist, 8 June 2018, 

Melinda. “Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes.”, 24 Mar. 2022, feel%20 threatened%2C%20your,and%20your%20 senses%20become%20sharper. 

Gorman, Anna. “Doll Therapy May Help Calm People with Dementia, but It Has Critics.” NPR, NPR, 3 Oct. 2016,’s%20used%20to%20help%20 ease,the%20need%20for%20psychotropic%20 medication. 

TodayShow. (2008, October 1). Fake babies ease women’s anxiety, sadness. Retrieved April 26, 2022, from 

Kaufman, P., Upham, B., Rapaport, L., Rauf, D., Kean, B., Zukerman, E., Vogt, C., & Drevs, A. (n.d.). Complete guide to doll therapy for alzheimer’s disease. Retrieved April 26, 2022, from,ability%20to%20relate%20to%20others. Gore. (n.d.). Why play therapy is really, really stupid. Why play therapy is Really, Really Stupid |. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from

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