East London local Sonnette Stander started an initiative of collecting dolls for people who have dementia, after seeing her mother who is a resident at the Lily Kirschman Home.
“Every time I see my mom, I’m so aware of how all these people are looking so lonely and sad. I decided to buy my mom a doll which is similar to a baby. I thought, I’ve got nothing to lose.
“When I went there the next day, the nurse said my mom loved the doll and with a big smile she told me I had created a problem, because but some of other residents also wanted a ‘baby’.”
Stander then went back to buy more dolls for the residents.
“When the staff gave them to the residents, it was with much emotion that I realised they all want a ‘baby’ to take care of, hold and love. I decided that my company could donate a further five more dolls,” she said.
“I must say one of the things that I would love to see happening is for families living in rural areas who do not have the means to put their elderly in facilities such as Lily Kirschmann, is the to try perhaps donation of dolls, fidget blankets, cushions or even certain types of toys, such as plastic stacking cups or rings. It definitely provides some much-needed stimulation,” said Stander.