‘I have no words for what I experienced today.’: Women deliver baby dolls to elderly dementia, Alzheimer’s patients

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“I can promise you that no matter what you got for Valentine’s Day, mine was way bigger and better than anything you could ever imagine. A few weeks ago, I told you about my dear friend and co-worker Sandy Cambron that gave my mom and her roommate babies. Today she delivered 28 babies and four puppies to mom’s entire unit.

two women in hallway holding large stuffed pugs with two carts of baby dolls and stuffed beagles in front of them
Shannon Gray Blair

Sandy’s mother-in-law passed away with complications from Alzheimer’s. She and her husband, Wayne, buried her with her doll she was so fond of. After that, they began delivering babies to memory care units.

elderly woman sitting in green chair holding baby doll in arms with pink baby bottle in hand
Shannon Gray Blair

She knows my mom has suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years and when Mom got bad enough she asked if she could have the honor of making Mom and her roommate a baby to make her transition easier into the nursing home. I said ‘sure,’ but wasn’t prepared for the reaction I got, especially from mom’s roommate, Ms. Green. I was amazed!

Nursing home residents visiting with 8 puppies is the purest thing you’ll see today

Grandparents married 67 years love each other through Alzheimer’s, brain surgery

elderly woman smiling up at woman standing over her while holding baby doll in arms that is swaddled in pink blanket
Shannon Gray Blair

I came back to Sandy and we cried as I told her what happened. A couple weeks later she asked if she could have the honor of making babies and/or pups for everyone in mom’s unit: 28 total.

elderly man with black glasses and red shirt looks down at stuffed animal dog in his lap
Shannon Gray Blair
rows of baby dolls of different skin colors swaddles in blue, white, and pink blankets with bow tied around them
Shannon Gray Blair

Her husband, Wayne, who is her wingman, was working so I helped. She prepped the babies and I coordinated the event with the facility. It was amazing. Sandy’s gentle approach was perfect.

alzheimer patient sitting with glasses on smiling down at baby doll wrapped in pink blanket in her lap
Shannon Gray Blair
alzheimer patient in wheelchair smiles up at woman standing over her while holding baby doll wrapped in blue blanket
Shannon Gray Blair

I was honored when she asked me to help. I have no words for what I experienced today.

alzheimer patient sitting in bed smiling while holding baby doll wrapped in pink blanket
Shannon Gray Blair
alzheimer patient lying in bed looks up seeing a woman holding a swaddled baby doll over her
Shannon Gray Blair

I’m amazed by her passion for those affected by dementia/Alzheimer’s. I’m also amazed at how much she loves me. Thank you, Sandy, for making such a difference and sharing your beautiful heart with so many people today. It’s a day I will never forget.

woman hands alzheimer patient a baby doll who is sitting next to a an elderly man with mask on and stuffed dog
Shannon Gray Blair
woman places hand on shoulder of woman sitting down holding swaddled baby doll and baby bottle in hand
Shannon Gray Blair

A big thank you Park Terrace staff for helping with the event and allowing us to do it.”

elderly woman lying in bed smiling with her hand on baby dolls chest lying next to her
Shannon Gray Blair
woman hands baby doll to elderly woman sitting down as another woman stand over chair of elderly woman
Shannon Gray Blair
alzheimer patient with sunglasses on holds swaddled blanket in blue blanket while woman offers purple baby bottle
Shannon Gray Blair
woman hands baby doll to elderly woman in reclined chair who has an as cross on forehead and oxygen up her nose
Shannon Gray Blair
woman leans over bed and offers hand to elderly man who has stuffed dog on his chest
Shannon Gray Blair
red flower blocking the side profile of elderly man sitting and grabbing a stuffed dog from woman
Shannon Gray Blair

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Shannon Gray Blair of Mount Washington, Kentucky. Submit your story here.

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