Dementia patients have been given dolls to offer them a “sense of purpose”.

Residents at Ryan Meadows care home each received their very own baby or pet companion during a recent ‘baby shower’ organised by the staff.

The East Kilbride facility is the first in Europe to receive the donation of 60 dolls from American charity, Pearl’s Memory Babies, to support residents affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

Glasgow Times: Residents were gifted their own baby dollResidents were gifted their own baby doll (Image: Newsquest)

Studies have shown that comfort dolls and pets can act as a form of therapy for people living with dementia.

Dementia UK has found that holding these therapy babies and animals can help relieve tensions and promote a more positive mental wellbeing, whilst improving their ability to communicate.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the UK. Dementia is the name for a group of symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning.

Glasgow Times: The baby dolls offer comfort and support for patients The baby dolls offer comfort and support for patients (Image: Sourced)

It can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities, according to the NHS.

The care home, operated by Keane Premier Group, first became aware of Pearl’s Memory Babies after seeing videos on social media of care home residents in America receiving the therapy dolls and pets.

They then got involved with the charity thanks to their ‘smiles across the miles’ international scheme.

Glasgow Times: Residents each got their own dollResidents each got their own doll (Image: Sourced)

Kathleen Crymble, activity coordinator at Ryan Meadows Care Home, said: “We’re always looking for ways to enrich the lives of our residents. The babies and pets donated by Pearl’s Memory Babies offer a heartfelt and comforting way for our residents to feel more at peace and provide a sense of purpose through caring for their new companions.

“Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are incredibly challenging illnesses that affect some of our residents, as well as their loved ones. We hope their new companions might spark a memory of their own childhood, or if they had young children or pets of their own.”