NHS hospital embraces pioneering dementia technology to help encourage social interaction amongst patients
Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire has installed a number of interactive Tovertafel tables for its dementia patients, which are designed to stimulate the patients’ brains and improve their social interaction.
Dubbed ‘magic tables’, the interactive tables allow people with dementia to take part in a series of different games by projecting interactive lights onto a table. The colourful lights and games help stimulate the patients’ brains and encourage social participation with others.
Salisbury District Hospital installed the tables in a specialist reminiscence room within the hospital, which has been renamed the ‘Friends Memory Lane Café’.
Julia Burton, Dementia Support Education Co-ordinator at the Hospital, told Spire FM: “With an ageing population, we are always looking for innovative ways to stimulate our patients and reduce social isolation.
“It is so heart-warming to see the reactions from our patients, who can go from being quite uncommunicative and agitated, to becoming calmer, more relaxed, immersed and smiling.”
The tables were able to be installed at the hospital following donations from the League of Friends. The League of Friends is a Salisbury-based charity which helps the Salisbury District Hospital by improving the wellbeing of patients through supporting projects that are not funded by the NHS.
David Stratton, Chairman of the League of Friends, added: “It’s great to see the money raised by the charity being used to support an important initiative which is having such a positive impact on patients.
“The League of Friends fund around a dozen projects every year that make a difference to patients and visitors to the hospital.”
You can see the interactive tables in action at the hospital in the video below:
The ‘magic’ Tovertafel tables have also been used in other facilities across the UK to help patients as they are designed to tackle the feelings of loneliness and isolation that dementia patients often feel. For instance, the Coombe Hill Manor care home in London installed the tables to help improve the experiences of dementia patients within the home.