Rag Dolls for Alzheimer Patients

November 20, 2015 | By Lorenzo Mejia

A speech pathologist from Winston Salem, NC has developed a rag doll specifically for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.  Janet Tompkins has always had a fondness for the elderly since she was little girl. It was always comforting for her to be with her grandmother and visiting with her grandmother’s friends and neighbors. The dolls are called Comfort Companions and are a division of Speechpath Tools LLC. The company offers tools specifically designed to improve speech and language for adults.

Tompkins has traveled throughout the US working as a speech pathologist with patients who have suffered from strokes, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The rag dolls she has developed are designed to comfort and help with the memory loss. Her dolls come in a variety of bright colors and are all fabric. The fabric has texture and bows, buttons and flowers to occupy people’s hands and prevent agitation. They are also lavender scented to provide a calming and soothing effect on the patient. The rag dolls have a pocket for photos or keepsakes to help with memory loss and encourage interaction. The dolls have a heart-shaped name label. In addition, you can write names on the photos to encourage remembering life events or names. Some patients that use the dolls put glasses, tissues or candy in the pocket.

The dolls sell for $49.99 and she is working on a beagle doll for men to hold. It is vanilla scented. Tompkins thinks that since most people in nursing homes do not need too much that this is a neat gift idea for dementia patients. She is starting small, but hoping to grow the business and work with non-profits like churches, hospices and health care facilities.

 

Have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the Chapel Hill or Durham area?

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