Have you heard of the Tovertafel? If not, you’ll want to learn all about it. As part of our bid to ensure that our residents, particularly those with suffering from dementia, have their social, cognitive and physical needs met during the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve installed these fabulous pieces of kit. Read on to find out more and why we’ve installed them in our dementia care homes in North Devon and Somerset.
You may well have seen a Tovertafel before and not known that was its name! It’s an overhead projector game. It projects a variety of different games onto a plain table top from a small box mounted on the ceiling. It then uses infrared technology, speakers and processor to make these games interactive and responsive to the movements and actions of the residents around the table. They are enormously fun and the games are diverse with fabulous colours and shapes.
Fundamentally, Tovertafels are fun. They are enormously engaging and encourage care home residents to play, interact and enjoy the light show and challenges involved.
They aim to help in three core areas: social, physical and cognitive. This means that dementia residents can engage socially in a way that is accessible whilst exercising their minds and bodies. There are a range of different light-based games available, each balancing these core objectives differently. For example, some are more focused on social interaction, whilst others are designed to encourage residents to move more.
We’ve absolutely loved seeing how our residents have displayed huge beaming smiles, let out laughs and engaged with one another through the Tovertafel. The benefits for those with dementia are wide ranging and include:
We have a large number of different games that our residents can play using the Tovertafel. All are engaging and include familiar objects. Some are more complex, requiring a small amount of number or language knowledge, but most rely on wonderful colourful light shows using images from nature (e.g. birds) or everyday life (e.g. toys or UK scenery).
Two of our residents’ favourite games are ‘Flowers’ and ‘Leaves’.
It may be fun, but there’s some real science and research behind why the Tovertafel is proving so useful at Eastleigh. It was created on the back of PhD research from the Netherlands by Hester Le Riche and then developed in conjunction with care workers, residents and their loved ones. The individual games have been developed and refined to stimulate different areas of the brain. All intended to be played from a chair, they promote physical exercise whilst being safe.
We’ve got Tovertafels and a mixture of games available at our South Molton and Minehead dementia care homes. Our residents are enthusiastically enjoying them and reaping the benefits. It was a decision to introduce them because of the limitations on our usual busy activity programme because of Covid-19, but they are here to stay and will be a well-loved feature of our homes for the future.
We are still able to take new residents, despite the pandemic. Give us a call on 01769 573166.