The Tovertafel (‘Magic Table’ in Dutch) was officially launched today in the dlr LexIcon Library by An Cathaoirleach Councillor Ossian Smyth and is the first of its kind to be installed in Ireland, with a second one planned for Deansgrange Library.
Commenting on the installation, County Librarian Mairead Owens said:
“One of the goals of dlr Libraries is to work with local communities to stimulate creativity and social cohesion, and to contribute to quality of life issues. The library service supports lifelong learning, and the Tovertafel helps us meet our commitment to provide a rich and engaging collection and technology programme for all our users, regardless of background, age or circumstances. September is World Alzheimer's Month, so we are delighted to invite those living with dementia and their carers to get in touch with the LexIcon or Deansgrange Library to find out more about this technology, which will be provided free of charge.”
An Cathaoirleach quoted from the County’s Age Friendly Strategy 2016-2020, and described how the Government’s vision and that of Age Friendly Ireland is to make Ireland ‘the best country in which to grow old’. One of the goals of the Strategy’s social participation strand is to provide opportunities for older people to stay socially connected. The Tovertafel is not only highly engaging but empowering, and it provides outlets for enjoyment and social interaction for older people.
Chris Baird – Head of Business Development for Tovertafel and the lead for Tovertafel in Ireland said the following, "We are delighted to be launching our first Tovertafel in Ireland at the Lexicon Library. We are always striving to encourage community spaces to become dementia friendly, so it is brilliant to see the Tovertafel installed at the heart of the community space for all generations to interact with."
The Tovertafel is an award-winning innovation from the Netherlands, which is renowned for its cutting-edge approach to dementia care. The technology has been designed to help those at a later stage of their dementia journey to be more active and to create moments of happiness. It consists of a series of interactive games that are projected onto a table. The light games encourage players to reach out towards them and the lights subsequently respond to their hand and arm movements, allowing the users to play with light.
The Tovertafel creates a fun, safe environment for its users. The games are formulated with the intention to trigger a sense of reminiscence among players in order to encourage stimulation socially, cognitively and physically. As light simulations, games are projected onto a table and include games with gardening and fishing themes and one with popping balloons. Tovertafel is also developing games for those with autism and a wide variety of learning disabilities so the potential of this technology is enormous.
Individuals or organisations wishing to book the LexIcon table are invited to contact the library at email@example.com or by phoning 01-2801147. Deansgrange users should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01-2850860.