Leading development-led care home operator New Care is spreading joy across its dementia communities with the introduction of new HUG companions in time for National Hugging Day on Friday 21 January.
New Care is one of the first care home groups in the UK to introduce HUGs; innovative soft comforters that are designed to be cuddled and bring respite to those living with advanced dementia.
With weighted limbs and a soft body that contains a simulated beating heart and music player that can be programmed with a playlist of the resident’s favourite tunes, HUGs can reduce anxiety and agitation, improve quality of life and enhance social interaction, providing many benefits for those living with dementia.
Chief operating officer at New Care, Cath Fairhurst, commented: “As dementia progresses, people can become more isolated, agitated and anxious, something that has become especially evident over the last couple of years with the uncertainty and changes that the pandemic has thrust upon us. Anything we can do to enhance the exceptional care that our dementia community already enjoys is important to us so when we learned about the HUGs we knew that we had to bring them to New Care.
“Bringing comfort, helping individuals feel secure and loved, we can see first hand the warmth and joy the HUGs provide from the smiles on our residents’ faces. Every day is National Hugging Day with our wonderful new HUGs.”
The HUGs have been exceptionally well received by residents at New Care. When the huggable was wrapped around her, resident at Formby Manor, Ann Cain, said “sometimes all you need is a hug to make you feel better,” and resident at The Hamptons, Enid Platt, said it was “love in a hug.”
Developed at Cardiff Metropolitan University and tested in hospitals, care homes and domestic settings, HUG is scientifically proven to benefit those living with the advanced stages of dementia and the HUG by LAUGH business is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure it is widely available for those who need it most.