A magic table creating moments of happiness for people living with dementia and all those around them

The (Active Cues’) Tovertafel is a game for the elderly with moderate to severe dementia, encouraging them to instinctively participate in order to stimulate both physical and social activity in them. Numerous games, consisting of interactive light animations which are projected on a table, stimulate their mind and inspire them to be active. Tovertafel was developed during the PhD research of Hester (Anderiesen) Le Riche in close collaboration with the elderly and therefore closely matches their needs and capabilities.

PhD Research Project

Hester Anderiesen-Le Riche
Richard Goossens (Promotor)
Marieke Sonneveld (Co-Promotor)

The brain’s deterioration, a consequence of dementia, influences how older people experience the world around them, and so influences how they play games. To determine which games are suitable for older people at the different stages of Alzheimer’s, Hester Le Riche, together with amongst others Prof. Dr. Erik Scherder, looked at the literature on neuropsychology. The Tovertafel is a fun care innovation that connects older people in the late stage of their dementia journey with each other and with their surroundings, all the while stimulating movement. The beautiful games were developed specifically for the target group and can be played both independently and under supervision.

The Tovertafel is a little box that can be mounted on the ceiling, for instance, above the dining room table of a care institute. Inside the box is a high-quality projector, infrared sensors, speaker, and processor that work together to project the games onto the table. Because the colourful objects respond to hand and arm movements, residents get to play with the light itself.

90% Of nursing home residents with dementia suffer from apathy, which negatively influences their physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. The goal of this project-grounded research is to develop a product-service system that stimulates nursing homes residents, living with moderate to severe dementia, to reduce their apathy.