Interactive table image
Credit: Hartlepool Mail / Stuart Boulton

A Durham-based care home is using interactive technology to support the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of residents with dementia.

The Elwick Grange care home has introduced an interactive magic table for residents with dementia, which utilises infrared sensors to project games from a device mounted on the ceiling onto a table top.

The technology responds to hand and arm movements, enabling residents to ‘touch’ flowers, ‘pop’ bubbles and ‘catch’ fish. This interactive experience also encourages social participation amongst the residents.

Wendy Winspear, Deputy Manager at Elwick Grange, told the Hartlepool Mail: “Providing specialist dementia care is at the heart of what we do here at Elwick Grange, and this is just one way in which we can enhance the emotional wellbeing of our residents.

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“Our extensive experience of such care has shown that a common symptom of dementia is apathy and physical inactivity.

“We’ve been using the new table for several weeks now, incorporating it into our existing dementia group activities, as well as on a one-to-one basis and it is already having a positive impact, instantly injecting fun, movement and engagement into these sessions.”

Credit: Hartlepool Mail / Stuart Boulton

A similar initiative was introduced at the Royal Star & Garter Homes in Surbiton, London, where the home used an omiVista Mobii interactive table to help support dementia residents’ physical and mental health.

Wendy added: “The Magic Table has really enhanced overall levels of social interaction throughout the home, with residents naturally being drawn over to it, including those who have traditionally been quite detached or uncommunicative.

“Witnessing pure pleasure in their faces and seeing inter-generational play when families visit with grandchildren, has been magical to see and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to install such a powerful piece of high-quality technology.”

Elwick Grange provides full-time residential, nursing, and short-term respite care.

Over the next few months, the home will host a number of free dementia awareness events to demonstrate the table in action, along with other dementia-friendly design features and facilities it has on offer, such as its dementia room, themed spaces and café.

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