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What are Magic Tables in Dementia Care?

April 17th, 2024

If you have a loved one living with dementia, you may have heard about something called a ‘magic table’. Dementia can cause a range of complex symptoms and these can vary in severity, which can make caring for loved ones with dementia challenging. A magic table is one way to help improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and also support caregivers as they seek to make life more comfortable for those they care for.

What Is A Dementia Magic Table?

Magic tables for dementia patients are specifically designed to engage individuals in stimulating activities. They are known as interactive projection systems or interactive light tables and you might hear magic tables referred to as tovertafel. They use interactive projection technology to create colourful and dynamic displays on a flat surface, for example on a table or floor. Users can interact with these displays, usually by touching them, to trigger various responses and effects.

Benefits Of A Magic Table For Dementia

picture of a human skull to show the brain in dementia patients

There are many benefits of using a magic table for dementia, including:

Stimulation 

Thera are a wide range of interactive activities, such as games, puzzles and virtual pets, to choose from with a magic table. Dementia can cause boredom and apathy, but these activities engage multiple senses and provide mental stimulation for patients with dementia.

Social Interaction 

Magic tables encourage group participation and cooperation, which are key to social interaction. Having shared experiences around the table can foster connections between individuals with dementia, and help to form friendships with caregivers or strengthen bonds with family members. 

Memory Activation 

Many dementia magic table activities are designed to evoke memories and stimulate reminiscence. These activities can trigger positive associations and spark conversations about past experiences by presenting familiar images, sounds, and themes that people with dementia may recognise. This enhances cognitive functioning and can improve emotional wellbeing.

Improved Mood

The immersive and engaging nature of magic table activities can elevate mood and reduce agitation and anxiety in individuals living with dementia, according to The Nursing Times. By providing a source of enjoyment and accomplishment, these activities contribute to overall emotional stability and quality of life. 

Physical Activity 

Some magic table activities require physical movement, such as reaching, tapping, or swiping. This encourages users to stay active and mobile, which promotes motor skills and coordination. Regular exercise and activity is important for all seniors, and for those with dementia not only improves physical health, but emotional wellbeing too. 

Independence 

Maintaining a sense of autonomy and self-esteem is important for anyone living with dementia. Magic table activities empower individuals to take part in a meaningful pastime and, by offering choices and opportunities for self-expression, they promote a positive sense of identity and independence. 

Caregivers

For caregivers and families, magic tables can be a valuable tool for providing engaging and meaningful care for individuals with dementia. The tables offer a way to connect with loved ones through interactive activities that are enjoyable for both parties. Caregivers can also use the tables as a way to bond with individuals with dementia and create positive moments together.

Using Magic Tables in Dementia Care

picture of an eye used to illustrate dementia patient

At New Care Homes, we have integrated magic tables into our dementia care provision with great success. All our caregivers are trained on how to effectively use the magic table. Dementia care staff understand the various activities available and how to tailor them to each of their residents living with dementia. Personalising activities to match each person’s cognitive and physical capabilities ensures a more meaningful and engaging experience.

Magic tables for dementia should be seamlessly integrated into the daily routine of dementia care homes, with regular access for all residents. Scheduled group activities, as well as spontaneous individual use, can maximise the many benefits of the tables, and be something to look forward to for dementia care residents. 

We continuously monitor the impact of the work we do using the magic table. Dementia is progressive and so the needs of those living with the disease can change. By regularly evaluating each resident and how they interact with the table, we ensure that they continue to get the most out of it. Gathering feedback from users, caregivers, and staff can help identify successful strategies and areas for improvement to maintain their effectiveness and relevance.

Dementia Care with New Care Homes

With dementia, communication and cognition will decline over time which can make daily life challenging, but magic tables are beacons of connection. These innovative tools harness the power of technology to engage, stimulate, and uplift individuals with dementia. This is why we are one of a small group of care providers that have led the way with magic tables in our care homes

To find out more about our dementia care homes, please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions or arrange a visit.