Durham County Council brings Social-Ability’s Happiness Programme to ten dementia and learning disability care homes
Programme aims to support positive outcomes and wellbeing of people living with cognitive challenges
London, 25 April 2022: Social-Ability, a social venture aimed at supporting people with cognitive challenges such as dementia, has partnered with Durham County Council to introduce its proprietary Happiness Programme to ten locations, including several care homes and learning disability day centres. The provision of the programme, which includes staff training in the use of Social-Ability’s magic table 360 technology, marks the beginning of a partnership that will see the Happiness Programme rolled out more broadly across County Durham.
Social-Ability’s Happiness Programme is a holistic therapy for people living with cognitive challenges such as dementia, aiming to support positive care outcomes and individuals’ wellbeing and reduce the need for medication which can often have debilitating side-effects. The magic table 360 uses interactive light technology to project images onto a surface, such as a table, a wall, or a person’s bed, allowing individuals to play games, listen to music, and interact with pictures.
This technology facilitates social, sensory, and cognitive activity, encouraging individuals to play games with each other, with the aim of improving their wellbeing through keeping them active and social. Each activity on the magic table 360 has a different purpose, with some, such as the Happy Memories feature, allowing family members to share pictures with their loved ones in care homes or day care, stimulating reminiscence that is particularly beneficial for individuals living with dementia.
Dementia is particularly prevalent in UK care homes, and the condition is expected to grow in the coming years, with the latest findings from the Lancet Public Health predicting a trebling of cases by 2050.
Moreover, individuals accessing social care services have been some of the people most affected by the pandemic, with lockdown rules keeping them indoors and in isolation, unable to interact with their friends and family. Finding a way to support individuals throughout the pandemic has been crucial, and the Happiness Programme has played a vital role in sustaining the wellbeing of individuals and reducing the workload of care workers.
Durham County Council’s roll-out of the Happiness Programme is part of a continued effort to improve the lives of people with cognitive challenges across the county, and comes alongside Social-Ability’s work with local authorities elsewhere in the UK, such as Wolverhampton.
John Ramsay, Managing Director of Social-Ability said: “Happiness must be at the heart of the care agenda, so we are thrilled to be partnering with Durham County Council to bring the Happiness Programme to care homes and day services across the area. We have seen the tangible difference that the Programme makes in other care homes, creating positive care outcomes, supporting care staff and ultimately enhancing the happiness of every individual we can reach. We are looking forward to seeing the impact our partnership on the people we can support.”
Cllr Paul Sexton, Durham County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health Services, said: “We are delighted to be working with Social-Ability to bring in new technology and methods to enhance the care and wellbeing of our residents in care homes and day care provision. The Happiness Programme, with its magic table 360 and additional training, will give staff another avenue to provide social and sensory activites for residents that will boost their social and mental wellbeing.”