Residents at two family-owned dementia care homes in Dorset have begun ‘experiencing the magic’ of a ground-breaking innovation in cognitive care.
Tovertafel involves an overhead light display projected onto a table below, offering a series of gentle, playful games to elicit sensations, relaxation and reminiscence in people with dementia.
Developed by a Dutch inventor in collaboration with dementia care homes in The Netherlands, the animation techniques are being increasingly recognised as effective by clinical care experts across the world.
Now, Colten Care is offering the system at its two specialist dementia homes in Dorset – Fernhill in Longham near Bournemouth and The Aldbury in Parkstone, Poole.
Tovertafel, which means ‘magic table’ in Dutch, comprises a portable box that is easily mounted on a ceiling hook above any ordinary table.
Inside is a high-quality projector with infrared sensors that detect the movements of hands and arms of those sitting below.
Colourful projected images respond instantly to participants’ reactions creating a highly engaging opportunity for individual or group play.
Experiences include rearranging leaves that fall to the table and observing flowers that float across the display. Participants can also enjoy playing with a beach ball, bursting balloons, finding hidden creatures, directing swimming goldfish and even singing nursery rhymes.
The system has been specifically developed for people with moderate to severe stages of dementia and is backed by rigorous academic research and systematic testing in the design process.
Dementia care expert Kay Gibson is Colten Care’s Admiral Nurse, a role specifically created in partnership with Dementia UK
Kay said: “We’re confident that our investment in Tovertafel will add a further string to our bow in dementia care and we’re delighted to have launched its use in our homes during Dementia Awareness Week.”