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September 21, 2018

A little bit of ‘magic’ helps stimulate patients with dementia at the Royal Berkshire

Patients with dementia at the Royal Berkshire Hospital are now benefitting from an award-winning innovation from the Netherlands. The Tovertafel, or magic table, projects a series of interactive light games specifically designed to motivate the mind and inspire those living with mid-to-late stage dementia to be more active.
The colourful images respond instantly to participants’ reactions creating a highly engaging opportunity for individual or group play.
The series of gentle, playful games elicit sensations, relaxation and reminiscence in people with dementia and encourage stimulation socially, cognitively and physically. Experiences include observing and growing flowers that float across the table, playing with a beach ball, bursting balloons, directing swimming goldfish and even singing nursery rhymes.

Commenting on the newly installed technology, Sharon Herring Director of Nursing for Networked Care said: “We are delighted with the latest addition to our resources for our patients living with dementia. Watching the patients’ reactions, it’s amazing how much they change. They can go from uncommunicative to animated; it’s quite moving when you see them.

”The light games encourage players to reach out towards them and interact with other players. The games really do inspire engagement and enjoyment and we encourage family and friends to join in when they are visiting.”

The Royal Berkshire is the first district general hospital in the UK to equip itself with ‘magic tables’ for patients with dementia, and has five – one on each of its elderly care wards, the biggest concentration of any site in the UK.