Published: 06:00, 18 October 2020
A unique form of therapy has given a new lease of life to care home residents living with dementia.
The deputy manager for the Edward Moore care home in Trinity Road, Gravesend , described how heart-warming and emotional it is to see the patients care for a life-like model baby.
The doll was donated by friend of the home and reborn artist Tricia Bethel, who buys blank kits which she then paints, designs and details for weeks to make the dolls come to life.
Looking after the baby has proven to have a significant calming effect when residents are feeling unsettled or restless, by giving them a sense of worth and purpose.
After the baby's arrival, former employee and friend of the home, Maggie Town, sourced a classic Silver Cross pram, which one resident, Marylyn, uses to push the baby around the home.
Deputy manager Melanie Martin said: "The effect the baby has on the residents is heart-warming and emotional, it brings them joy like nothing I have seen before.
"When the baby is around the whole mood changes, they speak quietly as not to wake her and they are so gentle with her, it's beautiful to see.
"Trish hand paints all of her dolls and she does an excellent job as they are very realistic, we are so grateful for what she has done for our home."
Tricia said: "It's amazing and so touching to see their reactions. These babies can help the elderly, especially those with dementia as they take them to a place which is safe and materna.
"They can help keep them calm, and sooth them greatly.
"When I see the way the residents react to the babies, it makes me even more happy to be able to make them. They bring so much joy to people."
You can see more of Tricia's work on her Facebook page here .