Empathy dolls are helping Hartlepool care home residents with dementia gain a sense of meaning and purpose.
Queens Meadow Care Home, on Stockton Road, has been using the therapeutic dolls to help residents feel more comfortable and communicative.
Julie Armstrong, home manager, said: “The empathy dolls have been really successful with our residents who have dementia.
“Holding and interacting with the dolls helps them to feel calm, gives them a sense of meaning and purpose, as well as improves social interaction and communication.”
The dolls have been donated by charity History of Hartlepool, which also makes reminiscence DVDs featuring images and stories from the town.
The charity was founded after a Facebook group created six years ago gathered support, with members requesting more information about the town.
The founders began creating films, photos and newsreels about Hartlepool’s past and selling them to raise funds for the town’s care homes.
Money raised by the charity is then used to buy specialist sensory equipment, such as the empathy dolls, and to pay for daytrips.
Debbie Wilkes, activities coordinator at Queens Meadow Care Home, said: “We’ve purchased all of History of Hartlepool’s reminiscence DVDs as our residents really respond to the images and stories that are included.
“It’s a bonus the group donates money to the home so that we can buy new things that interest them.”