UK first - Stonewater and SovaCare pilot digital ‘experience tables’ in retirement living projects

Stonewater, in partnership with health game software company SovaCare UK, has piloted an innovative interactive digital ‘experience table’ aimed at helping older residents, including individuals with dementia, improve memory recall, brain function and communication.

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The social housing provider which operates retirement and supported living schemes for older and vulnerable people across the country, is the first in the UK to trial the multi-touch ExperienceTables which have been placed in five of its retirement living projects in Southampton, Milton Keynes, Solihull, Leamington Spa and Dudley.

“ExperienceTables look just like real tables, but with a digital touch screen surface in the middle,” explains Joanna Gooch, Stonewater’s Assistant Director of Housing Strategy. “They offer a wide range of entertaining interactive activities aimed at boosting memory function and social engagement from sudoku, drawing and colouring, to reading about local history and listening to familiar tunes from the 60s and 70s. Residents can play alone or with friends and family.

“The tables have had an overwhelmingly positive response from all of our residents. Many have formed new friendships through the multi-player activities which encourage people to chat, share memories and have fun together, while others have enjoyed playing games at the tables with their grandchildren. Perhaps the most rewarding part of this experience has been seeing our residents with dementia discussing the old adverts and shopping brands they used years ago. It’s sparked some great conversations and helped them to relax, reminisce and engage in a meaningful way with other residents, their families and our staff.”

One of Stonewater’s residents who took part in the pilot says: “I never realised that that we could do so much on these tables. I feel I have really learnt something new and I’m 80!”

SovaCare’s ExperienceTable, is already a success in the Netherlands, and the product is gaining traction in the elderly care sector in Europe and South Korea.

Edith Zuiderent, multi-touch specialist Onwijs CEO says: “SovaCare UK is proud to work with Stonewater to bring the ExperienceTable to its residents. Our mission is to improve the wellbeing of the people using our tables, and we are very happy to hear about such good results already. We are looking forward to a productive partnership.”