Doll Therapy at Greenhaw Lodge

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Greenhaw Doll Therapy - April 2016

It is currently estimated that over 850,000 people in the UK have dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016), causing the loss of their intellectual, social and emotional abilities over time.

Doll Therapy is an activity which uses a doll to encourage a person to interact and aims to return a sense of self, meaning and purpose for a person with Dementia. This may seem, on the outside, patronising, but people with Dementia can obtain a great deal of joy and comfort from a doll (Self Growth, 2016).

With the evidence demonstrating Doll Therapy as a stimulating and meaningful activity, Greenhaw Lodge Activity Co-Ordinator, Colleen Doherty believed that Doll Therapy would have a positive impact on the residents within Greenhaw Lodge.

A life-like doll named Susie was introduced, which would be used during the therapy sessions. Susie played her part mainly with female residents who throughout their lives fulfilled the role of a parent or care giver. The outcome of Doll Therapy was astounding!

For many residents the doll had a soothing and calming effect during times of agitation and anxiety, and also helped to break down communication barriers between residents and staff.  For other residents Doll Therapy was about the sense of role and responsibility, as Colleen found that “babysitting” Susie brought a lot of joy and happiness with residents demonstrating caring and maternal roles.

Doll therapy went as far as to stimulate reminiscence for Greenhaw Lodge resident Maureen, as spending time with Susie brought back memories of her own children and of being a parent.

Doll therapy at Greenhaw Lodge has not only been effective but has brought an abundance of joy and happiness for many of the residents and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.

Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

9 June 2021

Following guidance from the Department of Health received 8 June 2021, the visiting arrangements outlined previously 10 May 2020 remain in place for a further 3 weeks, with a proposed review 22 June 2021.  As such the following arrangements remain the policy for visits to any Larchwood Care Ni Home.

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities. All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.

General Visiting

In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits. The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home. A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.

All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process. Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home. The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits

- Book in advance.
- Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
- 2 visitors may visit twice per week per week for maximum 60 minutes.
- Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 2 persons per visit.
- Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
- All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
- You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
- You will be provided with an apron, but do not have to wear gloves.
- You may touch and hold hands with the resident. At this stage hugging is discouraged.

In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these. Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.

In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes. At this stage non-staff facilitated trips away from the Home are not accommodated.

The plans phases 2 and 3 are outlined below, however dates for implementation are now on hold until further reviews are conducted.  The next review date is 22 June 2021 and the Department of Health will release advice at this time.

Phase 2 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

All the above risk management protocols will be in place with the following changes.

- Maximum of 4 people from 2 households may visit twice per week
- Introduction of “brief hugging”
- Risk assessed trips outside of the Home.
- Hairdressers may return

Phase 3 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

The following easements are encouraged from this date.

- No restriction on number of people but limited to two households twice a week.
- Overnight stays away from the Home may be facilitated.