Residents at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme have found a novel way to travel the globe, since the arrival of a state-of-the-art interactive projector at the care village. The new piece of kit is proving a hit with residents, creating a range of mesmerising experiences while providing a welcome boost to their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Projecting onto table-tops, the floor or even bedcovers, the technology comes with a vast library of activities, opening up a wealth of sensory opportunities for people with dementia, from ‘visiting’ landmarks from their holidays abroad, through creating ripples in the sea to participating in a range of movement and exercise-based activities.
Meanwhile, music fans are getting to grips with learning to play an instrument, with some even replicating Tom Hanks’s famous ‘walking piano’ scene from the 1988 film, ‘Big’. Those with artistic flair have been ‘painting’ beautiful creations, and brain training and quizzes to improve recall and memory are proving equally popular.
Emma Palin, experience coordinator at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, commented: “The residents love it. The ability to make activities personalised to them is having the biggest impact, especially with the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. We can upload pictures of residents’ families, which then feature in the games, or we can use their favourite songs or places they’ve visited. It’s very special to them personally and it’s created a buzz around the village – everyone is looking forward to their first session.”
In addition to enhancing emotional wellbeing, the projector is being incorporated into residents’ bespoke fitness programmes, helping to improve their strength, flexibility, and balance and coordination. For those with limited movement, light exercise, such as stretching, is being achieved by projecting activities on to the end of residents’ beds, meaning even those with limited mobility can reap the health benefits.
The portable omiVista Mobii projector has been purchased after two years of fundraising efforts including raffles, bake sales, seasonal fayres and a dozen Belong colleagues braving their way to the summit of Snowdon in aid of the cause.
Emma Palin continues: “We’d like to thank everyone who has donated. The projector really does offer something for everyone, whether residents want to compete, interact with peers, test their knowledge or unwind with a calming game. People are really drawn in by the activities and we’ve already seen huge positive impact on residents’ health. Now, we can’t wait to invite the community and local schools to join in the fun, as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow.”
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