Research has shown that engaging in play promotes engagement and stimulates cognitive activity, which can improve quality of life for people living with dementia. This is the reason behind our introduction of Tovertafel at four Catholic Healthcare Social, Wellness and Respite Centres, two of which provide social support and day respite for people living with dementia.
Julie Tremain, Aged Care Program Manager for Catholic Healthcare’s Home & Community Services is managing the rollout of Tovertafel at our sites. “We are always looking at ways to create more caring and inclusive services for people with cognitive, communication and mobility challenges. Tovertafel uses the latest technology to engage clients in ‘purposeful play’ irrespective of their capacity, to increase activity, connections, fun and learning opportunities, while creating memorable moments,” says Julie.
Tovertafel (‘magic table’ in Dutch) is an augmented reality gaming system designed for use in aged care settings. The system contains a high-quality projector, infrared sensors, a loudspeaker, and a processor, which displays moving images and objects onto a table, which participants interact with.
Warnervale Wellness Centre is one of the sites using Tovertafel and Michelle Webb, Coordinator has seen firsthand the benefits to clients attending their day program for people living with dementia. “Dementia can cause people to become withdrawn and passive for most of the day, so getting creative and playing these interactive games can only stimulate clients and subsequently improve their quality of life,” says Michelle.
Tovertafel games stimulate cognitive activity by encouraging the processes of planning and sequencing and requires the resurfacing of old memories, including counting, singing, sounds and pictures. Games such as Polishing Cutlery, Sweeping Leaves, Musical Notes and Rummy are the most popular for our clients at Warnervale, according to Michelle.
One of the key social benefits observed is people laughing, reminiscing, and discussing what they are feeling and seeing. Michelle agrees, observing that “clients who would normally be tired and lethargic in the afternoon now have more energy and seem to be more engaged within the group setting. Clients will reminisce about their childhood and things they used to do when they were younger,” says Michelle.
Not only does the system benefit our clients, but it “allows our team to better connect with clients on a personal level,” says Michelle.
Attendees at our recent open days at Warnervale Wellness Centre and Dubbo Home Club were able to find out about our services for older community members and saw the Tovertafel in action.
In addition to Warnervale Wellness Centre and Dubbo Home Club, Tovertafel is also being used at Wagga Wagga Wellness Centre and Waitara Dementia Day Centre. Click here to find out more about our Social, Wellness and Respite Centres.
Clients playing 'Sweeping Leaves' at Warnervale Wellness Centre
Clients playing a painting game at Warnervale Wellness Centre