Health Info & Resources for Seniors
The Fellowship Community launched an interactive Magical Memory Table designed to promote engagement and improve motor skills for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. An estimated 5.8 million Americans (10%) are living with Alzheimer’s, so Fellowship Community began a Dementia Care Initiative to establish best practices for caring for its residents affected by the disease.
To meet the challenges of its residents, Fellowship searched for new and inventive ways to promote engagement and improve quality of life, and interactive games were the best solution. Classroom technologies were examined: smartboards, smart tables, and projectors. Fellowship also discovered an interactive table used in Europe for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. A familiar table where residents normally sit and enjoy meals is transformed into the Magical Memory Table when the system is turned on. Using furniture from their environment helped residents embrace the new interactive games and pull up a chair to play. Using a regular table also allows us to fully disinfect the surface after each use. The Magical Memory Table is now the main attraction in its secure memory care unit. The system senses our residents’ movement on the table while they actively participate in games by pushing balls, chasing fish, and growing gardens. “Creating an engaging activity was important due to the lack of visitors and interaction with families,” said Mary Kay McMahon, RN, MHA, NHA. “Residents who were previously disengaged now sit in a social setting and engage with one another as a group or with a partner to enjoy interactive games.” The interactive games increase hand and eye motor skills and coordination by providing visual stimulation in conjunction with physically interacting with the table top and fellow residents. Apathy, a symptom of dementia, decreases when residents become more engaged with their environment and one another. “Fellowship’s Magical Memory Table has greatly improved the quality of life of our residents and replaced complacency with joy,” added McMahon.