Regions works to ‘baby’ West Gate residents

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Babies are a source of love and warmth and give great comfort to those who hold them in their arms.
On Saturday, residents at West Gate Village received some “baby love” as members of the Brewton Regions Bank delivered nearly 15 baby dolls.
Lisa Anthony, West Gate Village’s activities director, said Monday the practice of using dolls as therapy is not a new one.
“Doll therapy is a non-pharmacological intervention aimed at reducing behavioral and psychological disorders in institutionalized patients with dementia,” Anthony said. “ Here, at West Gate, we have used dolls for quite some time – especially for our women residents.”
Anthony said some of the residents immediately went to cuddling their dolls, talking to them “and on occasion, event trying to give them some food.”
“Not all residents, but some with dementia will revert back to a 3-to-4-year-old mindset, and at that time in life, dolls were their focus most of the time,” she said.
Dementia effects memory, which can often lead to distress for patients.
Anthony said the dolls – which were gathered by those at the local Regions bank – help to create a calmness for some residents.
“Staff are able to talk to them about their ‘babies’ and to allow them for ‘focus’ on things other than episodes of distress,” she said.
Anthony expressed her appreciation to those at the bank for adopting this as a service project.
“We can’t thank them enough for recognizing how important these residents are to us,” she said. “The residents have been adopted by our staff. We treat them like they are our family, and to see them so happy, we – and they – were overjoyed.”
Anthony said 13 dolls of varying sizes were distributed to residents.
Lamar Morris, Brewton’s Regions branch manager said, the idea was the brainchild of bank associate Angela Greer who modeled the project after one done by the Birmingham
“Angela was reading an article on Regions intranet called the Bright Spot, where Regions highlights some associates and the good they are doing in our communities,” Morris said. “ One article stood out to her – ‘Baby dolls bring new life to nursing home patients.’
“Another Regions associate in the Birmingham area had done this very same thing, and it inspired Angela,” he said.
Described as one with a “big heart who cares about her community and the people in it,” Greer brought the project to fellow employees.
“We all thought it was a great idea,” Morris said. “We love Brewton and wanted to do something good for our community. It was very heartwarming watching the patients receive their very own doll. Their smiles were contagious and lit up the room.”

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