Heartland Hospice Serving Raleigh-Durham recently partnered with Hope Community Church in Raleigh to provide baby dolls to local assisted living communities for their memory care residents. To date, the agency has collected money for 75 dolls with 55 dolls already distributed to local facilities for their residents.
“The administrator from an assisted living facility shared with me that they had one baby doll in the facility for all of their memory care residents and often there would be fights over the doll,” said Nikki Ferrell, Manager of Business Development. “That’s what prompted us to partner with Hope Community Church to raise funds to buy dolls.”
In early November, The Stratford, a local senior living facility, received 8 baby dolls from the Heartland Hospice team. “It has been such a huge blessing to not only our residents but, to the staff as well. Watching our residents interact with the dolls with such loving care makes our hearts smile,” said Laurie Minard, Executive Director of The Stratford. “A number of our residents have a form of dementia and if you don’t know, dementia brings them back to earlier years in their lives. They treat these dolls as if they were their children. Snuggling, hugging, tenderly kissing them and ensuring they are warm and wrapped up in their blankets. The change in our residents’ demeanor is priceless.”
Heartland Hospice is very grateful to have had such a dedicated partner throughout the effort to collect baby dolls. Nikki said,
Hope Community Church members have been so compassionate. They have put their heart and soul into helping patients receive these precious dolls. Both of our teams have worked together to spread the word about Alzheimer’s and the benefits of doll therapy. Many staff members have even donated gently used dolls. I had the pleasure of watching several residents receive the dolls and I will never forget the look on their faces. This is what it’s all about.