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“Magic Table” Offers New Hope for Those with Dementia and Intellectual Disabilities

Tover, a Dutch-based healthcare technology company, announced the U.S. launch of its “magic table,” a pioneering cognitive stimulation system scientifically proven to substantially increase the wellbeing and quality of life for those living with cognitive challenges, such as dementia or learning disabilities.

Tovertafel is an award-winning serious games system that projects playful interactive light animations on existing dining tables in the nursing home or care environment, benefitting both residents and their caregivers. At a time when the healthcare industry is hemorrhaging employees, Tovertafel can also help retain staff in assisted living facilities because the system helps to lighten workload, reduce stress, and increase employee satisfaction. And thus, resulting in less turnover and significant cost savings for administrators.

Believing in Magic

Tovertafel translates to “magic table” in Dutch, and magic is exactly what this technology delivers. Launched in 2015, the first magic table emerged from research indicating that 90% of nursing home residents with dementia suffer from apathy, which negatively influences their physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing. In a controlled study, Tovertafel was introduced to residents in a nursing home environment and found to show a significant increase in physical activity and improvements in social interaction, happiness, and reduction of anger, fear, and sadness.

In a statement released in January of 2022, Tover founder and CEO Hester Anderiesen Le Riche said, “The Tovertafel represents the next generation of technology for people living with cognitive challenges. We are excited to see this evidenced-based play system rolled out across the U.S. in the coming weeks and months and play a role in creating more moments of happiness for those living with cognitive challenges, and their family members, friends, and caregivers.”

In addition to its scientific backing and attractive price point, Tovertafel is the only product of its kind to boast a co-design method, meaning designers and non-designers worked closely together when developing the system, taking into consideration the end-users and their environments.

Bob Van Dyk, President and CEO of New Jersey-based Van Dyk Health Care, is an early U.S. adopter of the system. “I have been so impressed to see the way our dementia residents have taken to the Tovertafel. They love it. Residents with a mild cognitive decline to those with late-stage dementia, everyone including our staff are enjoying and benefitting from this amazing product,” he said.

The Tovertafel has been available across EuropeAustraliaNew Zealand, and Canada since 2015, and has sold over 5,500 units. And, in January of 2022, the company announced plans to sell and distribute the system in the United States.

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