New ‘magic table’ to help patients with dementia

Alice House Hospice provides lots of activities to help manage patient’s conditions as well help them to relax and relieve stress and tension.

Whilst many patients derive much benefit, those suffering from dementia are often very passive and withdrawn. This can be concerning as the negative influences that passiveness has on their physical, mental and emotional well–being is enormous.  Muscles stiffen, boredom and even depression sets in leading to acceleration in the loss of cognitive ability. 

“We are really excited to be the first people in the area to bring the benefits of the Tovertafel to our patients..."

Tracy Woodall, Hospice Chief Executive

Tovertafel (which means Magic Table in Dutch) is a series of games for people with moderate to severe dementia which encourages them to instinctively participate in order to stimulate both physical and social activity.

The games consist of a series of interactive light animations that are projected onto any table and react to hand and arm movements. The activities motivate the mind and inspire those living with dementia to interact with other patients and carers and at the same time benefit physically from exercise. Interaction is intuitive – patients can sweep away leaves with their hands or a brush, chase butterflies, move jigsaw pieces to form pictures; music and sounds add interest. The activities are also beneficial to those patients who have very restricted movement in their arms and hands due to a stroke or the effects of a disease such as Motor Neurone Disease as they provide pleasant and simple exercise.

Following the participation of some of our patients in a wonderful Tovertafel demonstration we have secured a number of grants to purchase a Tovertafel system and games which we hope will be with us in time for Christmas.

Tracy Woodall, Hospice Chief Executive, said, “We are really excited to be the first people in the area to bring the benefits of the Tovertafle to our patients. With the addition of our new Specialist Nurse for Dementia care, we will be able to actively support a wider group of patients who have dementia and limited mobility and promote social inclusion at the same time. Patients who have used it so far have really enjoyed the experience and we also believe it will bring benefits to children who use our Bereavement and Counselling Services through stimulation and interactivity particularly in group sessions.”

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Hartlepool Hospice Ltd (known locally as Alice House Hospice and formerly Hartlepool & District Hospice)
Registered office: Alice House, Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, TS24 9DA.