Dementia Friendly Libraries

Wakefield Council has introduced its eighth ‘magic table’ that gives people with dementia or learning difficulties the chance to have fun and to socialise through playing games.

The colourful new addition continues the Council’s commitment to offer a wide range of free services and activities to people living with dementia.

Libraries have also been adapted to make them safe and welcoming to these residents and their carers.

The technology of a ‘magic table’ works by projecting images of colourful objects, such as flowers or spaceships, onto a table. These can be moved around and made larger or smaller by hand movements. This stimulates the body and mind and encourages social interaction.

In May last year, the Council launched a range of dementia friendly services, from social groups to reminiscence boxes that contain a collection of multi-sensory objects, including photographs, smells, and sounds.

These have proved popular, with feedback to say the games and activities have given pleasure to people with memory loss who struggle with concentration but have been able to concentrate on these activities.

Councillor Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Sport, said: “We are delighted to have yet more available in our libraries. Making our libraries dementia friendly has helped improve the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia and we are proud to continue our work in developing more services.”

“Many of our library staff have been trained by the Alzheimer’s Society to be ‘Dementia Friends,’ which means they understand the needs of our customers with dementia.”

The latest magic table is in Featherstone library with funding provided by Featherstone Town Council. Councillor Graham Isherwood, from the Town Council, said: “It is brilliant that residents can now take part in this activity on their doorstep.”

“The magic tables bring enjoyment to the lives of people with moderate to advanced dementia and the people who care for them, but they are also there for anyone to use.”

These tables are also available to book at Sandal, Wakefield One, Normanton, Airedale, Pontefract, Stanley and South Elmsall libraries.

For more information about the district’s libraries visit here.