'Magic' therapy for Busselton residents thanks to generous donation

Residents Nina Cumming and Sheila Butherway and the Tovertafel at Baptistcare William Carey Court Residential Care in Busselton. Photos: Supplied
Residents Nina Cumming and Sheila Butherway and the Tovertafel at Baptistcare William Carey Court Residential Care in Busselton. Photos: Supplied

Seniors journeying with memory loss at Baptistcare William Carey Court Residential Care in Busselton have just received a very special gift from the Lions Club of Vasse.

It's called a Tovertafel (TOVA-TAFF-AL) or magic table and it allows people with cognitive challenges to play games and interact with everything from colourful flowers and butterflies to bubbles and falling leaves.

Colourful light animations combined with body sensor technology create a magical experience for people with dementia, but the cutting-edge equipment from the Netherlands comes with a $15,000 price tag.

The Vasse Lions first heard about the therapy games console from their colleagues at the Margaret River Lions Club who raised funds for a Tovertafel for Baptistcare Mirrambeena in Margaret River.

Busselton local and Lions Club of Vasse President, Trish Robinson, visited Mirrambeena to see residents interacting with the animated patterns and objects, and was immediately struck by the joy and connection it brought to those participating.

"As soon as I saw the residents using the Tovertafel I was brought to tears," said Trish.

"My mother-in-law lived with dementia and I can only imagine how powerful the Tovertafel could have been as a therapy tool for her."

Lions Club of Vasse President Trish Robinson and Secretary Kylie Robinson (left) with
Baptistcare William Carey Court residents Nina Cumming and Sheila Butherway and Residential Care Manager Dom Trombetta (back right). Photos: Supplied

Lions Club of Vasse President Trish Robinson and Secretary Kylie Robinson (left) with Baptistcare William Carey Court residents Nina Cumming and Sheila Butherway and Residential Care Manager Dom Trombetta (back right). Photos: Supplied

Fundraising started in earnest 12 months ago and over the year, Vasse Lions held raffles, movie nights and car park sales.

"We are grateful to the Australian Lions Foundation who contributed half of our $15,000 fundraising goal," said Trish.

Baptistcare Community Engagement Consultant Les Longfield said she was in awe of the community effort that has gone into donating the Tovertafel to William Carey Court.

"The Vasse Lions are always getting behind worthy projects that benefit people in the South West, and we are honoured to have been chosen as a recipient of their generosity," said Les.

"The Tovertafel will deliver enormous benefits for our residents with dementia and will play a key role in keeping them active and connected."