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How Does Dementia Affect Daily Life?

Dementia can affect daily life in many ways. It can affect memory, communication, mobility and more. In the below case study, you can read more about how the Happiness Programme is improving mobility for dementia residents.

How NHS hospital, Colwyn Bay, is using the Happiness Programme

Today, we bring you another instalment from our case study series. This time, we spoke to Elizabeth Anderson, a dementia support worker at Colwyn Bay Community Hospital in Wales. We wanted to know just how the Happiness Programme was being used in NHS hospitals, and how this was impacting their patients.


Colwyn Bay began their Happiness Programme subscription before the pandemic hit in early 2020. Despite ongoing restrictions, they’ve managed to use the magic table 360 in some great ways over the past year.


The Waiting Room

Colwyn Bay have been using the magic table 360 as an incredibly effective tool when de-escalating symptoms of distress and reducing anxiety. Elizabeth mentions how some patients can begin walking with a purpose in the later stages of their dementia. This can cause them to become agitated and confused.

To help address these symptoms, Elizabeth has set up a “waiting room” of sorts in one of the more frequented hallways of the hospital. She uses the magic table 360 to project calming water images onto the ceiling using our game, Ripples. The serene music that accompanies the game is often played quietly in the background. These factors all work together in the space to slow things down both physically and mentally.

She adds that when patients are walking it can be helpful to have:

“The use of calm music and gentle imagery can create a relaxing and supporting environment along the corridor where they are walking. By introducing this calm environment, it slows the pace down and makes it less frantic, they’re still in that moment, but it’s a calmer moment.”

She also talks about how the magic table 360 has also been used in a more interactive way with dementia patients earlier in their diagnosis:

“Some of them, who are at an earlier stage in their diagnosis, get really stuck in. They love it. Tossing the leaves away and things like that on the table, that’s fabulous for them. Any form of participation and getting that person engaged either on a 1:1 level with myself or in a group, if it’s permitted, is absolutely fantastic.”


Uses across the hospital

Elizabeth mentions how the magic table 360 is being used beyond the dementia wards. She talks about one specific patient who was struggling with one-sided weakness after suffering a stroke. She detailed how the magic table 360 was being used with other staff members to facilitate the rehabilitation of other patients:

“I did train a young physiotherapist to use the magic table 360. At the time they were struggling with activities for a stroke patient. They started by projecting the bubbles that you pop (our game Bubble Burst) onto a whiteboard. They eventually managed to get this stroke patient stood up, with his arms steady, reaching out for bubbles. That was more stimulating for him than anything else this physiotherapist could offer.”

She adds how our game Air Hockey is particularly popular with physiotherapist use. It encourages movement and muscle extension whilst also being visually engaging.

Elizabeth finishes with:

“I’ve taken the magic table 360 and trained other departments so that they get engaged with it as well. So, it’s not just being used in our hospital for our dementia patients, but for wider patient care too.”

To read more about the impact the Happiness Programme is having on people with cognitive disabilities, visit our case studies page.


Not a member of the Happiness Programme?

The Happiness Programme is a first-of-its-kind initiative helping to change the lives of people living with cognitive challenges. We use interactive light technology to provide meaningful activities for residents and patients in care homes and care settings.  For more detail on what the Happiness Programme is and how it’s helping care venues across the UK, visit our getting started page.

Alternatively, jump to our dementialearning disability and NHS pages for more specific detail on how it’s helping care homes like Barchester and HC-One as well as hospitals and local authorities such as St George’s Hospital, London and Westminster and South Kensington Council.

For anything else, you can contact us here too.

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