New nursery boosts nurture therapy for dementia

A new nursery has introduced doll therapy into Courtlands Aged Care's dementia program.

A new nursery at Courtlands Aged Care in North Parramatta is encouraging doll therapy among residents with dementia and other cognitive impairments.

When Courtlands Facility Manager Elaine McRory noticed a sitting corner was being underutilised in the dementia area of the Home, she worked with her Lifestyle Team to develop a nursery there where residents could interact with lifelike baby dolls.

Doll Therapy has been found to be a promising and effective approach in caring for people with dementia, and has been associated with an increase in positive behaviours, and a decrease in negative behaviours and aggression.

A number of dolls were purchased, along with clothing, a crib, change table, bottles and cupboards for storage in a style that reflects a traditional home nursery.

Courtlands Aged Care in North Parramatta has introduced Doll Therapy into its dementia program.


Residents have begun interacting with the dolls, including feeding, rocking and dressing them in a variety of outfits.

When older people have symptoms of dementia they often think back to the days they were raising children, Elaine said.

“Many people do reminisce about being mothers, and so like that comfort of holding a baby,” she said.

“It’s part of our diversional therapy program, and can be really beneficial.”

The Home is also going to trial Paro, a therapeutic baby seal robot developed in Japan, that has been shown to reduce stress, improve socialisation and increase relaxation.

To find out more about our dementia therapy programs or Courtlands Aged Care please call 1800 246 637 or contact us online.