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Help trial a new device to calm and comfort people with dementia in Torfaen

a woman cuddles a sensory dummy
The HUGS are used at 11 centres in Torfaen

Torfaen Council’s assistive technology team is looking for volunteers to trial a new device aimed at helping to calm and comfort people living with dementia.

The HUG is a sensory device designed to be cuddled and they are already being used by dementia patients at 11 care settings across Torfaen, including Ty Glas Y Dorlan and Ty Nant Ddu Day Care Centre.

The team now has 20 HUGs to give to volunteers in the community as part of a pilot project.

The HUGs have weighted limbs and a soft body that contains a simulated beating heart and can be programmed to play a person’s favourite music.

Torfaen Council executive member for social care and housing, Councillor David Daniels, said: “Research has found that HUGs help to reduce anxiety, provide comfort and encourage conversation.

“This is a great opportunity for people to see if the product will work for their loved one without going to the expense of buying one first.”

According to a study by LAUGH ltd, the company behind HUG, they found it improved the quality of life for 87% of the people who used it for six months.

Take part in the trial

If you, or someone you support, is living with dementia and would like to take part in the trial, please contact the Assistive Technology Team on 01495 766214 or email

Participation in the trial is free and user feedback will help inform any decision on whether this equipment should form part of the council’s assistive technology service in the future.

The HUG has been funded by the Gwent Regional Partnership Board (GRPB), and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

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Help trial a new device to calm and comfort people with dementia in Torfaen