A ‘magic table’ is bringing light and joy to hospital patients who are in various stages of dementia.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 11:33 am
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 01:25 am
A 'magic table' in use

The Tovertafel, which is Dutch for ‘magic table’, is a projector that hangs out of sight and projects light games onto the table beneath, using infrared sensors to react to hand and arm movements.

It was created in 2014 and was coined the ‘magic table’ by an elderly man while it was in the testing stage, because of the amazement he felt at the colourful images flashing across the table.

Games projected by the Tovertafel stimulate both physical and cognitive ability with their interesting design.

A Sheffield dementia inpatient unit has now bought a Tovertafel to improve the quality of life for elderly patients on the ward.

Woodland View, which is a part of Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, was able to purchase the table thanks to a generous donation of £500 from a local Freemasons Lodge.

Patients who have complex needs and were previously less keen to interact with visitors and other patients at the ward have been seen to have benefited immensely from use of the technology.

James Sherwin, manager at Woodland View, said, “The Tovertafel has created a sense of enjoyment and wonder for our residents, and we have seen many positive changes in their behaviour since the table was installed.

“It really helps to improve social interaction between patients and their loved ones by giving them something in the present moment to talk about, rather than having to talk about the past.

“There is no way to go wrong with the games, so it suits every ability, and playing with the Tovertafel does not require supervision, which enables residents to do fun activities independently.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to the Freemasons Lodge who donated the money.”provide a wide range of specialist health and social care services to improve the mental, physical and social wellbeing of the people living in our communities.”

The Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust aims to help people to live fulfilled lives with services which work closely alongside primary care.

These services support patients’ recovery and improve their health and wellbeing, while trying to meet all their social care needs.

Services include those for adults with drug and alcohol misuse problems, psychological therapies for people with mild and moderate mental health problems, and community-based mental health services for people with serious and enduring mental illness.

Others support people with learning disabilities and their families and carers, in-patient mental health services for adults and older people, and specialist services that include rehabilitation for people with brain injuries.

There are assertive outreach services for homeless people and members of the traveller community, perinatal mental health services and gender dysphoria services, and help for people with eating disorders

Primary care services for people of all ages are delivered through a number of GP Practices.

The Trust supports the Time to Change campaign to end stigma and discrimination against people with experience of mental health problems.

In February 2016 it signed up to support the campaign, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Individual pledges can be made at http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/pledgewall.