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‘Magic tables’ bringing joy to Mid Suffolk’s care homes

Posted by on 10 January 2023 | Comments

Interactive tables with therapeutic effects for people living with dementia are being trialled in Mid Suffolk’s care homes.

Two Mobii Interactive Tables, produced by OM Interactive, are now in care homes across the district – using projectors that respond to movement to let residents interact with games, quizzes and calming scenes.

The tables bring residents and nursing staff together, boosting the moods of residents and giving them the prompts and opportunities to share stories of their own lives. For those living with dementia, the tables provide a stimulating experience which can help them socialise, relax or interact with others without the pressure of conversation.

This trial will see the projectors rotated between eight care homes for the next six months, with Steeple View in Stowupland and Barking Hall in Needham Market due to receive them in January.

A dedicated fund was created by Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet members to improve dementia services and support across the district, which forms part of a broader package being invested by members to support the health and well-being of its residents.

Cllr Julie Flatman, Cabinet Member for Communities, Health and Wellbeing, said:

The difference these tables can make is really clear when you see residents engaging with the scenes – something as simple as sweeping away the clouds to reveal a Spitfire in the sky can be enough of a cue to let someone share their own story.

“As a council, we want to ensure our residents living with dementia can live happy lives with the support they need from friends, family and carers. Investing in trials like this means we can find out exactly what works for those in our district. I’m delighted to see more care homes use these and to see what their residents get out of them.”

One of these tables is being used by those at Housing 21’s Mere View Court in Haughley. Vicky Trawford, manager of Mere View Court, said:

These tables are really engaging with our residents as well as our staff. The difference it can make in their mood is tangible – prompts like asking whether they can whistle or click their fingers, or certain songs playing along with the activities, engage them in a fun and gentle way. I’d like to thank Mid Suffolk District Council for including us in this trial.”

Founded in 2005, the OMI team design, develop and supply motion-activated interactive projection technology for care, health, learning disability, rehabilitation and special education setting. The business was recognised for their strides in the sector with the National Dementia Care Outstanding Product Award in 2018, and it continues to lead in this sector.

OMI’s projectors can be adjusted to transform a floor into an interactive scene such as a pond or lake, giving residents the impression of splashing the water as they paddle their feet.

The technology can be used on any flat surface in the homes, turning an ordinary table into something mentally and physically engaging, with more than 100 activities to choose from.

An OMI spokesperson added:

Our mission is for everyone to have the opportunity to experience meaningful moments; influencing & interacting with their environment through movement, exploration and collaboration. We are delighted to see this mission accomplished at Mere View and look forward to working with Mid Suffolk district Council in the coming months of this trial.”