Media Contact: Ryan Kanavy

[email protected] or 315-413-3462

A “baby shower” was held yesterday for the delivery of more than 20 animatronic baby dolls as well as several puppy dolls for the dementia residents at The Commons on St. Anthony to care for – and EVERY memory care resident at The Commons received either a baby doll or a puppy dog!

These dolls have the look, feel and weight of a newborn baby or young puppy. But each doll is unique, and is specifically chosen for a connection that is shared with the dementia patient – for example, wearing the dementia patient’s favorite color, or a doll with blue eyes for a patient with blue eyes. (Notice the dog’s plaid handkerchief matches the resident’s plaid shirt in the photo below!)

Additional photos and absolutely heart-melting b-roll footage are available at (scroll down to download media assets at the bottom of the webpage)


  • The Commons was nominated by employees and family members of the facility’s residents, and selected as one of only 3 winners nationwide in a contest from Pearl’s Memory Babies ( The Commons in Auburn is the first facility in NYS to be selected.
  • Pearl’s Memory Babies was featured by PEOPLE Magazine in 2019:
  • Life-like dolls have had a statistically significant impact on dementia patients’ quality of life, specifically their increased frequency of smiling and decrease in irritable or aggressive behavior.
  • Each resident and their dolls will have a special hospital bracelet with their name and the baby’s name or dog’s name. This ensures supports ease of recognition for the resident, keeps the same doll with each resident for infection control.

“Humans are instinctually hardwired to nurture,” said Amy Feeney, Director of Therapeutic Recreation and Volunteers at The Commons on St. Anthony. “What becomes difficult as people age is how they can receive the same benefits from having someone – or something – to care for, without having to manage the care. These animatronic babies and pets provide all the benefits without the cost or physical difficulties of caring for a child or pet.”

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