Magic Table gift brings Christmas joy to Tom’s Club

Date: 14 December 2018

tovertafel table

A grateful carer has brought Christmas joy to a local club that helps hundreds of local people with dementia.

The local person, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated a £7,000 “magic table”, known as a Tovertafel, to Haringey Memory Clinic’s Tom’s Club, based at St Ann’s Hospital, Tottenham.

The high tech device projects interactive animated games onto a tabletop, enabling a group of up to six players to share games, helping to improve mental and physical health.

A dozen club members tested out the special “touchscreen” device at a launch party this week.

The Magic Table is designed for people with moderate and late stage dementia. It promotes cognitive stimulation, social interaction and physical movement.  

Packed into a small electronic box fixed to the ceiling, the device projects images onto an ordinary tabletop below, creating a high tech visual and auditory display with which players interact.    

In one game, “Feed the birds”, a colourful flock of birds hops across the table searching for seeds of corn. Players sitting round the table interact by “brushing” the corn with their hand, rather like swiping a touchscreen phone. They can even get the birds to eat from their hand.  

Service user Brenda Whittle, 76, from Tottenham, was enchanted by the game. She finds it hard to remember recent events, but found the game intuitive and fun to play. She said: “I used to get angry about my memory loss but now I have accepted it. I go with the flow and live in the moment. This game is great for me. I could sit playing it all day. It’s really enjoyable!”

Brenda’s husband Stephen was among five players around the table. He said: “The game is very interactive and makes us all really concentrate and get involved. It’s fun for everyone.”

Colin Ward, 95, from Tottenham said: “I’m a regular visitor because I have Alzheimer’s. It helps to see people regularly and there’s always something interesting to do here. The Magic Table is a really great addition!”

Tottenham Community Choir attended the launch party, singing a medley of Christmas carols.

Admiral Nurse Maggie Carol, a dementia nurse specialist at the Haringey Memory Clinic, thanked the choir and the anonymous donor. She said: “This great generosity will improve the lives of hundreds of people with dementia. We will use it across the borough.”

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust’s Haringey Memory Service team manager Judith Nazare said: “We’re so delighted with the support we’ve received from local people. The Magic Table will provide cognitive stimulation for our service users and their carers. It will help them to relax and to discover old and new skills.”

  • Summary:

    A grateful carer has brought Christmas joy to a local club that helps hundreds of local people with dementia.