« Back to Blog

"Baby Shower" brings back memories for residents living with dementia

You could hear lots of baby talk around Wichita Presbyterian Manor’s Memory Care last week when residents received a special surprise –memory babies.

Each resident received a lifelike baby doll or puppy, provided by Pearl’s Memory Babies. The non-profit organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments and found the baby dolls “seem to rekindle something inside their memories and hearts.”

The response was immediate – as soon as our residents got to hold their “babies” their eyes lit up. Some started singing to the babies, others talked to them, hugged and kissed them.

“She’s a sweet baby, a real sweet baby” one resident kept telling her baby doll as she kissed her.

“Look what I got,” another resident proclaimed.

“It’s real, it’s raw, it’s a moment that they get to experience,” said Sarah Oenning, PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America®) Vice President of Giving. “The moment they hold these babies, it brings back that historical moment in their lives.”

Pearl’s Memory Babies delivers babies to senior living communities across the country and it’s always a heart-warming, emotional experience. The organization started when one of the founder’s mother-in-law, Pearl, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The family found the only thing that could soothe her was a baby doll.

“It’s happening in their minds, it’s happening in their hearts. It brings joy to the heart,” said Oenning.

The residents get to keep and care for their baby dolls or puppies.

If you’d like to help Pearl’s Memory Babies continue their mission, you can donate here.

Watch media coverage of our one-of-a-kind baby shower from KWCH 12 News here.

« Back to Blog