LIFELIKE baby dolls are proving therapeutic for residents at a Teesside care home.
Residents at Ingleby Care Home, on Lamb Lane, Ingleby Barwick, have been benefitting from the dolls after a donation from a staff member’s mother.
Amanda Houlden came across a doll therapy project on Facebook, where a post described the success for those living with dementia.
She then asked her daughter Sarah McIntyre, a carer at Ingleby Care Home, if she thought the residents would have similar benefits before offering to make one.
Amanda purchased the “real born baby doll” online, assembled and dressed it, before taking it to residents at the home.
Resident Margaret Salmon said: “I love it. She just sits on my knee and she is no bother. She doesn’t cry or answer back. I could sit and hold her all day.”
Sarah said: “After seeing how the residents took to baby Mary, as they’ve called her, I went back and told Mam. She offered to make another one so both floors at the home have one.”
Amanda said: “I am so happy to hear the doll is bringing joy to the residents at Ingleby Care Home. I really hoped it would.”
Doll therapy has many therapeutic benefits for the elderly, especially those with dementia, said home manager Carol Singleton.
She explained: “Some residents find enjoyment in just holding and being with the doll. For others, it might bring back fond memories of their own children.
“They’ve even helped improve communication, activity levels and general mood.
“A big thank you to Amanda Houlden for donating the dolls to the home. I’m sure the residents will enjoy using them for many years to come.”