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In sickness and in health: husband raises £5,000 for specialist equipment for wife with dementia

Published on 7th November 2017

A devoted husband, Pete James, raised £5,000 as he wanted to do all he could to improve the quality of life of his much-loved wife Nicole. Nicole has dementia and is a resident of The Hawthorns Care Home, which is part of the Shaw Healthcare Group.

The funds were raised purely through Pete setting up a JustGiving page, Pete commented that ‘it’s purely through people’s love of Nicole that we managed to reach our target so quickly.’

The funds have been used to purchase a ‘magic table’ a piece of equipment aimed at helping people with dementia to reminisce and relax. This new technology uses interactive games to connect people in the mid to late stages of dementia with each other, and with their surroundings, all the while stimulating movement.

The games can be played independently or as a group, invite participants to pop bubbles, sweep leaves or interact playfully with fish. Another game generates a series of well known sayings or phrases, which is often the start of fun discussions and brings back memories.

Mary Tasker, home manager at The Hawthorns, which is run by Shaw healthcare, said: “The impact that this equipment has had in a short space of time has been incredible. Residents who didn’t tend to join in conversations or were prone to becoming agitated have become engaged, and many have shown absolute delight when playing these games. The sound of the laughter has left myself and other staff members in tears of joy. I can’t thank Pete and his family enough for what they have done for everyone here”.

It isn’t just the residents who have benefited from the magic table. A relative of one of the residents often asks Mary if she can spend ten minutes on there before she goes home as it relaxes her.

Maggie Parker, who works for the Alzheimer’s Society, and has known Peter and his family for some time, said: “It is just wonderful to see the residents react and interact with each other, especially those who are usually more withdrawn and less inclined to get involved. It is also great for when family members are visiting, and conversation can be limited”.

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