New technology brings ‘magic’ to Sheffield dementia patients

Our dementia inpatient unit, Woodland View, has bought a Tovertafel to improve quality of life for elderly patients on the ward.

The Tovertafel (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 during initial testing, because of the amazement he felt at the beautiful images flashing across the table.

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

We purchased the table following a generous donation of £8,500 from a local Freemasons Lodge.

The technology has aided patients who have complex needs and were previously less keen to interact with visitors and other patients at the ward.

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 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.”

To find out more about the free support on offer from Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, click here.

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