The Tovertafel is a 'magic table' creating moments of happiness for people living with dementia and all those around them.

Dementia is one of the five most common chronic diseases closely associated with old age. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community.  The effect of an ageing population will impact on the numbers of people living with dementia, the health and social care needs of people with dementia, and the needs of their carers.

The impact of dementia can further worsen isolation and loneliness amongst older people.

The causes of loneliness (for the person with dementia as well as their carer) not only stems from physical isolation but lack of companionship. Group activities are particularly valuable in helping older people out of loneliness and isolation, especially when they take the form of physical and mental wellbeing approaches.

The Tovertafel (or ‘Magic Table’) is a package of playful, interactive light games that entice older people, adults and children, to get moving and have fun together. It has been specifically designed for and with people on the mid to late stage of their dementia journey. These activities stimulate the people, both in body and mind.

People living with dementia can become incredibly passive during the day. They can often stare into the distance and have hardly any interaction with the people around them. This is highly concerning as the negative influences that passivity has on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is vast.  Their muscles stiffen; boredom, or even depression, sets in, leading to an even faster decrease in cognitive ability.

The Magic Table initiates interaction, which supports the typical lack of self-initiation that is not possible when living with dementia. It also provides frequent reminders to keep the participants’ attention on the current task. All activities contain elements that are familiar to older people and with which they interact intuitively.  They can sweep autumn leaves away by moving their hands, throw a beach ball to each other or chase fluttering butterflies creating treasured moments with family members and carers. These games are all about enjoyment and wonder.  

Our Magic Table project will also help to inspire the next generation of young people to get involved in dementia care. We will reach out to local schools and colleges to recruit volunteer 'buddies' - usually aged between 18 and 23 - who are interested in a career in social care. They'll actively encourage people to participate in the games, providing a fun and rewarding intergenerational experience for both the buddy and participants.

A full Tovertafel package, including staff training, access to a buddy support scheme, and 12 games, costs £9,969.60.

So far, thanks to Year 8 students at Ursuline High School, Wimbledon, who won the First Give Philanthropy competition, we have raised £1,000 towards our appeal.

We were all so delighted that Staywell won the £1,000. The team were so inspired by your wonderful services at Raleigh House and they worked so very hard for you, so it was an extremely well deserved win. Thank you so much for enabling students to visit your fantastic day centre and for coming along to inspire students about the incredible difference Staywell makes to people’s lives.

Lisa Thefaut, Director of Extended Learning, Ursuline High School

Donate to our appeal today, and help bring some magic to the lives of people living with dementia.