Friends and families of those living with dementia can enjoy using the magic table for connecting with their loved ones. To introduce them to interactive lights, we’ve set out some easy, accessible ways to introduce the magic table to them.
- Try setting up the projector up with the Leaves game. It’s one of the easiest and most accessible games to start with, whoever is sat around the table or playing surface.
- Families can work closely with staff to develop more ways of giving person-centred care for their relative. For example, friends and family can add important details about a loved one’s likes and dislikes, and information about activities, hobbies and interests that their loved one has, better enabling your staff to personalise the magic table experience.
- Families can contribute to the Happiness Tracker logbook (download the template here) for their relative and document the response(s) their relative experiences with each game, to help with this process. Families may also like to read about what other sessions their loved one has enjoyed with staff.
- Children and young people may also enjoy the games and the benefits of having something to do together with their relatives, if it’s possible for them to visit.
- For capturing general feedback from friends and families benefitting from the technology, feel free to use this Family and friends questionnaire to allow their experiences to be heard by your organisation.
Ideas for introducing regular sessions with community groups
This might include groups such as nurseries, schools and college volunteers.
- Do you have or are you planning to regularly have any community groups or nursery, schools or college volunteers, come in to visit? Why not run a magic table session with them! Intergenerational play and wider community engagement has many benefits for everyone involved and is guaranteed to spark moments of happiness.
- Make sure to have your magic table set up and on a game before your visitors arrive. This will help to grab their attention and curiosity. Some great games to get started on are Leaves, Fish, Bubbles or Balloon Pop.
- Remember some of your visitors may not have any experience with dementia or learning disabilities so make sure to give them a brief introduction (to the staff, residents, the care setting and what to expect) to help the visitors feel welcome and comfortable.
- If you currently have no community visits or volunteers, we’re happy to search on your behalf as part of our intergenerational/volunteering programme, included in your Happiness Programme. Get in touch with the team who will be able to guide you with further steps.
An alternative way to introduce friends and family is to plan a launch party. This allows you to invite friends and family of all your residents or community members and introduce them to the magic table in a fun and relaxed setting. You can use this opportunity to promote the activity to friends and family as well as asking for volunteers (friends of friends) or contacts at local schools, nurseries and community groups who might be able to help facilitate sessions.
- The team at Social-Ability can help with flyers and posters for advertising your event. This may be a great way to introduce your community to the technology for the first time.
- For community events and showcases, choose a room with appropriate lighting and space to give the best view of the projector. The magic table can be moved between spaces, for example, to host a smaller training session in another room.
- Have plenty of props on hand for participants to experiment with such as foam noodles, feather dusters, paint brushes and soft balls.
- Choose your background music – something relaxing or up lifting. It’s easiest to use something voice-activated such as an Alexa speaker. You can even try to theme your songs to match the games being played.