Sunrise of Fleet Use Therapy Dolls to Help Residents in Their Memory Care Neighbourhood

Sunrise  |  June 11, 2020

Sunrise of Fleet use expert methods and advice to help the residents living in their Memory Care Neighbourhood. They now use ‘Therapy Dolls, also known as empathy dolls; these have many benefits to those with impaired memory.

The dolls are made by Swedish Company ‘Rubens Barn’, founded by Ewa Jerenskog in 1996. Ewa wanted to develop empathy dolls that had character, and charisma, that children and adults alike could develop a connection with through the expressive faces on the dolls. They are all made by hand and take about 100 steps to make. The dolls faces are sculpted in soft fabric, for a more emotional and realistic look. The eyes are also embroidered which helps bring the dolls to life.

Sunrise of Fleet use these therapy dolls as residents living with dementia are able to get enjoyment or reassurance from holding or being with a soft doll. It may remind them of a time when they had young children. Or for some, it simply creates a pleasant feeling of reminiscence or affection.

The therapy dolls can also create a sense of purpose, which can lead to increase activity levels and alertness. The dolls have proved particularly effective at the care home with residents who have had difficulty engaging with others. Their communication has improved, as well as their overall well-being.

Lucy Jesse, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Fleet, said:

“At Sunrise of Fleet we are committed to helping our residents live happy and fulfilled lifestyles. These therapy dolls have been just one method we have employed to help our residents in the Memory Care Neighbourhood who live with dementia.

“I have seen so much charisma and positive expressive emotions from our residents when they are with the dolls. The smiles on their faces say it all.”

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