We bought mother a doll. Did not get a very realistic looking one not knowing if she would take to it. She has, very much and takes it everywhere. People are coming up and making comments (rude I agree!!) About 'i thought it was real at first', etc. Being concerned this may turn her off we want to get a more realistic looking doll. Would it be detrimental to try to switch the dolls?

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First of all, I am so glad that it works for your mom! Secondly, people are STILL going to do that, even if it’s realistic—and maybe even more-so. If this doll works for her, it works for her. I think that if the baby doll looks better, people may be even more surprised (and therefore more obnoxious!) Stick to this one, and maybe carry some business cards around with you that say, “My loved one has dementia, please be kind.”

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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