Bringing a bit of magic to our care homes
At Barchester, we are always looking for ways to improve our residents' quality of life. This is why we have introduced a Magic Table to many of our care homes - offering opportunities for those living with dementia to increase physical and social interactions and, most of all, have fun. The magic table is a series of interactive light projected games that some element of the following three stimuli, which research has shown are consistently able to have a positive effect on those living with dementia through the early, mid and later stages of the condition through sensory stimulation, relaxation, reminiscence.
Tovertafel Magic Table
Introduced to our homes in 2019, the Magic Table is an interactive light projector that was originally developed in The Netherlands. It's a specialist piece of technology designed to support residents living with dementia, and is proven to help staff promote stimulation through specialised games.
The colourful light projections respond to hand and arm movements, enabling residents to play with the light itself, increasing both movement and stimulation. Games have been developed to boost physical, cognitive and social interaction amongst users, and great care has been taken so that the speed of gameplay and difficulty matches the level interaction.
Magic Table 360 and the Happiness Programme
Developed in the UK and introduced to our homes in 2021 the Magic Table 360 is very similar to the Tovertafel Magic Table, however, it is small, portable and lightweight and has a full 360 degree projection. The added benefit of a mobile Magic Table means that Barchester’s residents can utilise it anywhere in our homes; lounges, coffee areas, gardens or even bedrooms – the fun will come to them! Also with the Happiness Programme, our residents will have access to many games that will change on a seasonal basis to add extra enjoyment and fresh experiences. The games, which are typically played on tables and floors, respond to the body movements of residents, helping to create intuitive engagement.
Research has shown how effective interactive light care be in care home settings, and how beneficial it can be to residents’ well-being, especially those living with dementia. Some of these benefits include:
- Positive effect upon well-being by improving mood, reducing apathy and restlessness, as well as increasing engagement levels especially across the mid-to-late stages of dementia
- Improved engagement during family visits
- Improved relationships between staff and residents by facilitating playful activities
- Increased interaction between residents
- Increased physical social and cognitive activity
- Increased positive emotion and reduction of withdrawn-like symptoms