Interactive games provide valuable stimulation and connection

By Petrina Wright | Posted: Wednesday May 15, 2024

The happy faces, focused attention and animated conversation of residents living with dementia surround Peacehaven Village’s newest therapeutic tool.

Enliven Southland has purchased an interactive games console for residents in its Iona dementia unit, an acquisition made possible thanks to funding from Vernon Hall, Rob Mckenzie and the JBW McKenzie Trust.

The games console projects a variety of interactive sensory games and colourful imagery on to a table along with accompanying sounds (eg, the autumn leaves game comes with the sound of rustling leaves).

The games are specifically designed for adults with dementia, creating a calm environment which promotes fun, activity and cognitive stimulation. Some games enhance eye-hand coordination while others encourage the recollection of memories via pictures.

Enliven director Carol Riddle said the interactive games console was something all dementia residents could enjoy, especially residents who were chair-bound and did not get the same opportunities to go on outings with their families or on van trips.

The games console was also a fun activity residents could share with visitors, as often interacting with a dementia patient whose vocabulary and cognitive function was limited could be difficult for their family and friends, she said.

“Research suggests we will see positive results in the areas of emotion, social interaction, and physical activity with our residents in dementia care.”

Peacehaven Village Iona clinical manager Julie Worner said the games had created a lot of interest with the residents.

“They are just loving it.”

Iona dementia care unit has a 20-bed secured residential level dementia wing, and a separate 20-bed wing providing secured psychogeriatric hospital level care. Enliven is the only provider of psychogeriatric care in Southland. Residents requiring this level of care come from Southland but are also referred from the Whakatipu Basin, Wanaka and Central Otago areas. 

Image Gallery