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Tovertafel aka the Magic Table helps patients with dementia

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by Startacus Admin

Holland-based startup Active Cues have created a simple product called Tovertafel aka Magic Table, which projects imagery onto a surface, helping engage children and adults with cognitive challenges.

Passive behaviour - decreased emotion, withdrawal, and lower levels of activity - are among the common signs of dementia in older people. Those in care homes often don’t have a lot to do day to day, and while the staff take care of their physical health, their mental wellbeing goes unchecked.

Activities and outings are often at additional cost and require pre-booking, meaning that even when a resident wants to take part, they can end up excluded for a number of simple reasons. This then leads to more passivity and apathy. This in turn leads to a decline in not only physical health but also in mental health. Cognitive ability can Tovertafel Magic Tabledeteriorate and depression can take hold. Living with dementia and not remaining active and engaged with their surroundings can result in agitation, anxiety, and even aggression.

Holland-based startup Active Cues has created a simple product to engage children and adults with cognitive challenges: Tovertafel.

This translates as Magic Table, and encourages people to play together around a table, stimulating their social interaction as well as their cognitive ability.

Tovertafel originalTovertafel is a projector that sits above the table and projects imagery onto its surface, complete with sound, and uses infrared sensors to detect when and how the participants are interacting with the projections, allowing them to be directly affected. For example, a projected school of fish will turn and swim away from a hand dipped into their ‘water’.

There are two versions of Tovertafel: the original, designed specifically for those with dementia, and UP for those with intellectual disabilities. It is installed in hundreds of care homes in Holland and is gaining more and more traction in the UK.

Active Cues’ innovative yet simple product is really on to something, and all of the award that they started winning way back in Tovertafel 2015 prove it. These include winner of Dutch Game Awards ‘15, the German Business Awards, and winner of EIT Digital Challenge '18.

Keeping those with dementia and other cognitive challenges active and stimulated is hugely important, and such an easy and non-intrusive piece of equipment that can be installed in literally any care home stands to make a massive difference to those people and those around them.

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Published on: 12th June 2019

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