Over and Above helps patients with dementia stay connected

(L to R) Angela Walter, Admiral Nurse Dementia Specialist, and Ian Roome, Head of Over and Above Charity Fundraising.

(L to R) Angela Walter, Admiral Nurse Dementia Specialist, and Ian Roome, Head of Over and Above Charity Fundraising. - Credit: Over and Above

A new interactive device is helping dementia patients at North Devon District Hospital and within the North Devon community to stay connected with their surroundings. 

The omiVista magic table is a portable projector that can be height-adjusted for use in different spaces. The device’s design won a National Dementia Care Outstanding Product Award. When Covid-19 guidelines allow, the projector will also be used at North Devon District Hospital’s Dementia Café. 

Ian Roome, Over and Above’s head of charity fundraising, said: “The activities and games stretch people living with dementia and challenge them to think, whilst also helping to connect them to memories and experiences through touch, sight and sound. The projections are calming and help patients unwind and relax, improving their mood and stability. 

“This machine was purchased with the help of a donation from NHS Charities Together and specifically funds raised by Captain Sir Tom. It will most certainly help many of our patients for many years beyond the current pandemic.” 

“It is moving to see the impact the omiVista magic table has,” said Angela Walter, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s Admiral nurse lead - dementia clinical nurse specialist. 

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“The therapeutic benefits are incredible, and we’ve seen patients really benefit from the experience of using the device. It is helping those living with dementia to stay connected to the world around them.” 

There are many projections on the device with different themes and events. Using one of these themes in a recent session there was a projection of an old-fashioned breakfast table, complete with sugar, bacon, jam, tea and a ration book. 

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Eggs move across the screen and as the patients touch them, they crack open. In the background, the song ‘if I knew you were coming. I’d have baked a cake’ merrily plays. When the last egg is successfully ‘cracked’ an image of a fully-baked cake appears bringing smiles from patients and their loved ones. 

If you would like to help other local dementia patients who use the services of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, you can donate to the Over and Above Charity here: https://overandabove.org.uk/donate/

To find other ways to support Over and Above please visit www.overandabove.org.uk or contact a member of the fundraising team on 01271 311772 or ndht.charity@nhs.net.

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