Reborn babies, lifelike dolls which appear to breathe like real children, are being used in care homes to help reduce disruptive behaviour.
According to a Reuters report, the dolls, which are also used by mothers who have lost children, are used to calm down elderly people.
Speaking to the news provider, Ian James, a doctor at the Centre for the Health of the Elderly at Newcastle General Hospital, said the dolls comfort people and make them quieter - something he and his colleagues attribute to the fact that looking after a child takes people back to a time when they were busy and happy.
However, he states the same effect can be achieved with a cheap plastic doll from a toyshop, as it is the presence of the doll which is important.
It was recently reported that computer games can offer a new way of engaging elderly individuals and keeping their minds sharp.
Researchers from St Andrew's University and the University of Dundee have claimed that games help elderly people focus and strengthen their memories.
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