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Interactive Gaming Tool Helps Nursing Homes Manage Dementia-Led Behaviours

Dementia patients using Tovertafel in patiend-centred care
Dementia patients using Tovertafel in patiend-centred care

Innovative new device, the Tovertafel, is putting power in the hands of dementia patients, giving nursing homes across Canada an effective tool in their journey to adopting a more patient-centred care approach.

Memories make us who we are. Sadly, cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s can steal these treasured moments from us. Overtime, even the most routine memories can be lost. Long-term care homes shoulder the challenging role of providing a safe space for these residents, offering the best care in the best environment. With this mandate in mind, long-term care homes nation-wide have been adopting a patient-centred care approach, a practice that focuses on each resident and introduces structures and systems that align with the specific preferences of every individual and how they prefer to live their lives.  It’s a difficult task to take on, especially while continuing to navigate the industry’s ongoing staffing struggles. Despite these challenges, one thing remains clear: staff working in long-term care are passionate about what they do: “There is an incredible amount of love that goes into the work they do,” says Marie-Anne Bazerghi, Chief Growth, and Innovation Officer for Eugeria, a Canadian company delivering innovative solutions to aid in caring for residents with dementia.


Meeting Specific Needs

The needs of those living with dementia aren’t much different to those living without it. They too require physical activity, human connection, and cognitive stimulation. Unique to the disorder however, those with dementia lose their ability to recognize these needs and can struggle to communicate them effectively. 

Developed by Netherlands-based Tover and distributed across Canada and the US by Eugeria, the Tovertafel is an innovative solution designed to help residents with dementia to fulfill these needs on their own terms. Designed in consultation with healthcare professionals and those living with dementia themselves, the Tovertafel introduces games that help stimulate the brain through visual, auditory, and sensory cues.  Best placed in a common area, the Tovertafel projector attaches to the ceiling. Throughout the day, it displays various interactive games onto a table. The lights and sounds associated with each of the 35 unique games attract residents, encouraging them to interact with or simply watch other players enjoy the games.

Addressing Specific Behaviours

“The Tovertafel becomes a tool staff can use at any point in the day when they feel residents are restless, ”Marie-Anne explains. Research-led, the Tovertafel also addresses dementia-specific behaviours known to present challenges in long-term care environments. Apathy, for example, can often be observed in those with dementia and lead to reclusive behaviour and lack of engagement. The Tovertafel offers a series of games that targets apathy directly and has shown incredible results in breaking this behaviour. The program also offers games that address sundowning – a time, often during sunset, when residents with dementia can experience agitation or wandering. Based on this insight, certain Tovertafel games use stimuli – like butterflies – to create a soothing experience, lowering feelings of anxiety and agitation.

Above all, the Tovertafel builds connection: “it can be hugely helpful in not only improving social interaction between residents and staff, but also amongst residents; something that can be hard to engineer otherwise,” Marie-Anne says.

Facilitating Connection

Long-term care homes across Canada are incorporating the Tovertafel into their programs, seeing the benefits firsthand. North York, Baycrest Terraces is one such example, having integrated the first-of-its-kind dementia care innovation in their Possibilities by Baycrest™ memory care floor: “this innovative device has been supporting residents with cognitive decline and has become a popular activity in the unit,” says Alex Badley, General Manager, Residential Living at Baycrest, “it is allowing our older adult population to engage in a variety of recreational and social activities, supporting our goal of optimizing brain health while recognizing the person and supporting them in their best possible aging journey.”

In an industry that aims to offer more customized, resident-led care, the Tovertafel is an incredible tool in helping achieve a patient-centred approach while offering residents with dementia the social connectivity they so desperately need. “At the end of the day, there’s something intuitive about sitting at a table and playing with the people around you,” Marie-Anne notes, “the Tovertafel gives people with dementia the opportunity to have these happy, joyful moments.”

Learn more about the game-changing Tovertafel and how it can be used in long-term care.

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