‘Magic Table’ brings fun and laughter to Broughton House Veterans

A ‘magic table’ which features a range of stimulating and fun interactive electronic games is helping to improve the wellbeing of veterans with dementia at a north west care home.

A grant of £10,000 from the Morrisons Foundation has funded a Tovertafel at Broughton House Veteran Care Village in Salford.

The Tovertafel was developed in the Netherlands – its name means ‘magic table’ in Dutch – and is designed for older people with dementia or cognitive decline to improve their wellbeing, increase positive emotions and social interactions.

It projects interactive electronic games on to a table in the form of images and sounds, which respond to hand movements.

Games include moving a series of coloured leaves and hearing them rustle, passing a ball across the table to others, playing matching puzzles and even a gentle version of whack-a-mole.

Karen Miller, chief executive of Broughton House, said:

“This wonderful piece of equipment is proven to build cognitive ability, physical movement, social interactions and sensory stimulation for people with dementia.

“By projecting images on to a table that our veterans can interact with, it provides entertainment and builds relationships, as well as helping with their condition.

“The kind donation from the Morrisons Foundation is bringing many hours of smiles and laughter to our care village, hugely benefiting our veterans with dementia or cognitive decline.”

Broughton House has cared for more than 8,000 veterans since it opened its doors to the ex-service community in 1916. It has recently been redeveloped into a complex with a 64-bed care home, including two 16-bed households dedicated to veterans with dementia, as well as independent living apartments, an array of modern facilities, a museum, gym, hairdressing and barber’s salon, and a restaurant and bar for residents.

The Tovertafel is another addition to its expanding range of services for veterans with dementia as demand for this type of provision increases.

Former army nurse Natasha Eardley-Dutton recently joined Broughton House as its first dedicated Admiral Nurse, a specialist dementia role to work with residents, their families and in the wider community.

A host of new activities led by wellbeing coordinator Viki Tumilowicz have been introduced for residents with dementia and cognitive decline, including a weekly sensory spa, music and dancing, art, gardening and knitting, quizzes and playtime with dementia companion dogs.

In an annual survey of residents’ family members conducted over last summer, 92 per cent of respondents said their relatives’ quality of life had improved since they moved to Broughton House.

Morrisons Foundation trustee David Scott said:

“It’s great to see the support from the Foundation being put to such great use by providing activities for veterans at Broughton House.

“The vital work delivered at the veteran care village is a lifeline for older people who need additional support and I’m very proud that we’ve been able to help in such a meaningful way.”

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons Supermarkets in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help improve people’s lives. Since launching, over £40m has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales.

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