There was cause for cake at Chiltern Court Care Home on Thursday as they unveiled their brand new ‘Magic Table’. The Tovertafel (‘Magic Table’ in Dutch) technology is designed for people with mid to late stage dementia, using interactive light projections to provide stimulation. Funded by a generous public donation, Chiltern Court’s new table will offer residents a new way to connect and interact, along with some unique fun and games.
The Magic Table, created in Holland, has undergone a rigorous design process, ensuring it is perfectly suited to those with late stage dementia. Mehdi Bedioui, from Tovertafel, explained, “We’ve done research to understand what stimulation is good for people with dementia so they’re not overwhelmed. Quite often at that stage in the journey, you find it difficult to hold a conversation, maybe watch a movie or do a puzzle, so the science helped us to understand when people are overwhelmed and that never happens with the table.” There are currently 12 interactive games available for the Chiltern Court residents, each one having undergone 18 months of testing. As the projection box is connected to the internet, the home will also be able to try and download more games as they are developed.
The installation of the entrancing new equipment was celebrated on Thursday with an afternoon tea party. Residents and guests could enjoy finger sandwiches and fairy cakes whilst experiencing the wonders that the Magic Table has to offer. Deputy Mayor, Ken Arlett, was also in attendance, and was blown away by the technology. “It’s an amazing technique, absolutely brilliant,” he said. “I think the thing is with this, it keeps people occupied rather than just sitting in a chair all day long. You’ve only got to look at these people around the table now. I’m very impressed, I didn’t have a clue what to expect — it’s terrific.”
Chiltern Court Manager, Maggie Coleman, was delighted to see so many residents enjoying the new feature. Reflecting on its tremendous success so far, she enthused, “It’s very interactive for our residents who are living with dementia. It has a great impact. One of our ladies who doesn’t interact very much, when you put the balloons on she will sit there and pop them. The other day, one of our other ladies when the fish came up, she remembered that she went fishing with her husband and she talked all about the fishing. It’s bringing back memories for people; it’s helping the staff to interact and find something pleasurable also with the residents, which is amazing. Also it’s building links with our community. The person who donated the money is a member of the public who is supporting his wife with dementia. He doesn’t want to be named but we are eternally grateful to this gentleman for enriching the lives of our residents here. I think it will be an absolute positive experience for all of them.”
Thanks to an incredibly kind donation, Tovertafel will help to bring a little bit of magic to the Chiltern Court residents for years to come.