BlogCase study

Scottish day centre offers first-of-a-kind activities for dementia patients out in the community

The magic table 360 being used at a dementia day centre in Livingston, Scotland

The role of the magic table 360 in the wider community

Braid House is a day centre in Livingston, Scotland, with many of their service users living with dementia. They started the Happiness Programme- the first day centre in Scotland to do so- just 2 weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a nationwide lockdown. This unfortunately prompted the temporary closure of their beloved centre.  

The Happiness Programme at Braid House

Lynda McArthur, Senior Coordinator at Braid House, said: 

“We’d only just started using the magic table 360 at the centre. We would have it in the lounge areas where people would come to meet. It immediately started providing a good start and end to each day. Service users were able to play with it at any point, as well as during specific staff-led sessions. The training we had was great to get us up and running.”  

Lynda continues:

“Then everything changed. We didn’t use it for a period whilst the lockdown first came in and our visits out into the community increased. But then we asked ourselves, what if we took the magic table 360 out with us? This changed our visits dramatically. It gave our staff a focused activity to stimulate those they were visiting as well as having a huge impact on the service users themselves. We’ve seen fantastic results with happiness levels increasing and significant calming effects on behaviour.” 

Braid House are now using the magic table 360 on almost a third of their weekly visits in the community, and in a wide range of settings.

The magic table 360 out in the community

Lynda mentions a couple, Jim and Trudy, who reside in Livingston:

“Jim has really benefited from the magic table 360 sessions at his home. It gave him a positive focus. It had a calming effect on his behaviour and increased his levels of happiness. 6 months since the lockdown started, his wife Trudy hasn’t been able to access any of the services that would usually be available, so our visits have been vital for her too.” 

Alyson McKenzie, Operational Manager at Braid House mentions a lady called Betty, who is living with dementia:

“She’s loved the time spent playing with the magic table 360. It’s benefited her hugely; it has put a smile on her face and given her an activity that’s suited to her ability.” 

Lynda adds:

“It’s lovely to see them spend time at the table together and be gently competitive with each other. They have become closer during a very difficult period.” 

Alyson mentions how easy it has been to stimulate and engage those who’ve had access to magic table 360 sessions:

“We typically have two members of staff on each visit. This allows one to meet and greet and one to set the table up. While it doesn’t take long, it makes every minute we spend in someone’s home count. We now want to get the magic table 360 out into as many homes and during as many sessions as possible. Even when Braid House fully reopens, we’ll continue taking it into people’s homes, especially for those too unwell or unable to attend the day centre.” 

 How new technology is helping rural communities

CEO of Braid House, Ray Baird, is delighted with the impact of the Happiness Programme and the magic table 360: 

“It’s fantastic to see an innovative programme like this used in day care provision across West Lothian. It’s offered personal growth to staff members who’ve developed a confidence in using it. We pass this  onto our service users and their families. We’re delighted to be able to reach them out in the community. It’s been such a success that we hope this forms a blueprint for how other day care services can operate during such a difficult time.”

In fact, Ray is a driving force for day care charity working in the Western Isles as CEO of Tagsa Uibhist. They have already begun rolling out similar daycare activity provision into this incredibly remote and rural community. 

Not a member of the Happiness Programme?

The Happiness Programme is a first-of-its-kind initiative helping to change the lives of people living with cognitive challenges. We use interactive light technology to provide meaningful activities for residents and patients in care homes and care settings.  For more detail on what the Happiness Programme is and how it’s helping care venues across the UK, visit our getting started page.

Alternatively, jump to our dementialearning disability and NHS pages for more specific detail on how it’s helping care homes like Barchester and HC-One as well as hospitals and local authorities such as St George’s Hospital, London and Westminster and South Kensington Council.

For anything else, you can contact us here too.