Sacred Heart Hospital launches ‘Magic Table’

Coincides with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Residents and staff from Roscommon Sacred Heart Hospital enjoying the Magic Table

Roscommon Sacred Heart Hospital (SHHR) is a service provider for older people located in Roscommon town. The aim of the service is to provide high standards of care and to enhance the quality of life of residents in line with HSE policies and HIQA.

To coincide with World Alzheimer’s Month (held in September) and World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21st), the SHHR introduced the Tovertafel Table (also known as Magic Table) to enhance the awareness of Dementia and Alzheimer’s for staff, residents and family members. Globally, there is thought to be poor understanding and a great deal of stigma surrounding dementia, so the work of World Alzheimer’s Month is vital, as is targeting the stigma and lack of understanding and knowledge surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well as supporting those suffering with the disease.

The Magic table is an interactive, user-friendly technology, which consists of a portable unit mounted to the ceiling that projects infrared sensors onto the surface below. There are different levels of interactive games for the users to enhance social, physical, sensory and cognitive functioning. The games that have been developed respond to hand and arm movements, with light animations projected by Tovertafel.

Any cognitive dysfunction can reduce or limit the individual’s interactions with other people and family members. The loss of common human communication can be stressful to individuals. Being present with other people – i.e. taking part in activities, having a bit of fun and laughter – is essential for all of our lives.

Residents at Sacred Heart enjoyed the training sessions with staff, and everyone has been able to actively participate. The different levels of activities are suitable for residents at variable cognitive abilities. The activity staff were delighted with the new interactive equipment and the feedback so far has been brilliant.

Isaac Bontha (Senior Physiotherapist, SHHR) stated: “During the activities, staff also noticed enhanced social interactions, which is great for group and individual focused activities. It was a moment of togetherness, a moment to have fun, communicate and laugh. Happiness was the feeling around the magic table”.