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Games that are just magic. Afternoons are for fun, not dozing says Stephen Pullinger

Afternoon is typically the time when care home residents take a nap.   However, as soon as lunchtime plates are removed from the table at The Depperhaugh nursing home on the Norfolk/Suffolk border residents are eager to play not to snooze.   For the Kingsley Healthcare run home in Hoxne, near Eye, has invested £5,000 in the latest technology to entertain people living with dementia.   The “Magic Table” provides hours of fun with games developed by Dutch PhD student Hester Le Riche to enhance the lives of people living with even the advanced stages of the condition.   Beams of coloured light directed on to the table create bright images which move and change when you touch them.   By moving their hands over the table, the residents can throw a beach ball to each other, sweep away autumn leaves, catch fish, burst bubbles or touch caterpillars and watch them change into fluttering butterflies.   The home, a 19th century former Admiral’s house, is the first in East Anglia to have bought the “Magic Table”. Deputy home manager Maria Volentiru said: “Residents interact with each other so much more. “Marlene used to spend the afternoon sleeping. Now she is so active with it.   “Liz loves it. She is not having a good day and feels ill, but she is still smiling.   “Violet loves the games with the fish and the butterflies and the beach ball game is a hit with everyone.”   She said many of their residents were no longer able to read books but these games were easy and fun and kept them busy.   “It helps them move about and exercise in their chair. The staff love it too and joining in the games makes their relationship with residents even stronger,” she said.   Activities co-ordinator Andy Brock said: “There are lots of different games with different levels of complexity so all our residents can join in.”   Mehdi Bedioui, a spokesman for the distributors, said: “The games have been designed to deliver the right amount of stimulation and the right kind of stimulation to help people living with dementia to better engage with the world.”   The cost of the “Magic Table” has been funded from part of a bequest left to the home by former resident Joan Fitzpatrick. Find more about Depperhaugh nursing home: Source: Lets Talk Magazine  

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