The use of dementia doll therapy is being rolled out across Barchester Healthcare homes following a successful pilot last year.

Deputy director of dementia care Jason Corrigan told Care Home Professional that Barchester had seen a “massive positive impact” on the quality of life of residents during a six month trial at 10 homes last year.

Jason said: “We have observed major impacts on the well-being of residents in terms of improved sleep patterns, nutritional intake and weight increase, and lower anxiety levels.”

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The scheme was introduced by Barchester as part of its 10/66 dementia programme which focuses on nutrition, supporting and working with families, legislation, managing activities, staff training and medication.

Following the success of the trials, Barchester is rolling out the programme at its 160 Memory Lane communities across the country.

Carers at Barchester are put through a training programme before the empathy dolls are introduced into homes.

Barchester works closely with families on the use of the therapy through sharing the benefits of the programme.

Jason added: “It is a matter of choice for the residents. No-one is forced to have a doll. We leave them around the home and closely monitor resident’s reactions to see if they show an interest in them. If it brings them some comfort it can only be a good thing.”

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The author Lee Peart

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