From left: Stephanie Renz, Community Relations Director with Meadowlands, three memory unit tenants, and Krista Shaw.

Once a year, caregivers with Home Instead Senior Care collect and clean-up baby dolls to give to patients - such as Alzheimer’s patients or those with other dementias that might find the presence of a baby doll relaxing or calming.

“Our caregivers bring baby dolls in and clean them all up, dress them all up and then put them in baskets and take them to our local memory care,” Laura McCoy said. McCoy is a Director of Community Outreach with Home Instead.

“It’s been shown that a lot of times that is a good trigger for folks, if they can have a baby to hold. We also put baby powder on them so that thy smell good,” McCoy said.

McCoy said that the baby dolls can aid in bringing back memories.

“The reason that we bring them so often because if there is a baby in an area, a lot of times they’ll fight over that one baby because everybody wants to hold it or they’ll argue about how it should be cared for. So we try to get as many babies as we can into the communities,” McCoy said.

Right now, McCoy and Home Instead take pretty much any baby that they can get, but are working towards getting people and businesses to sponsor babies in order to provide a quality, weighted baby that is much more life like.

The locations that the babies were delivered to on Wednesday, June 26, were Assisted Living at the Meadowlands in O’Fallon, McClay Senior Care in St. Peters and Breeze Park Memory Care in Weldon Spring.

“This event is near and dear to our hearts,” McCoy said. “Every year we look forward to the joy these dolls bring to the seniors who receive them. It is such a special gift from the community.”

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