AN INVETERATE fundraiser is in training for a Sumburgh to Lerwick marathon to raise cash for a high-tech gizmo that could improve the lives of people with dementia or other cognitive defects.
Anita Rose Georgeson, who has climbed Kilimanjaro to raise money for Mind Your Head, among her many fundraising adventures, is now aiming to raise £10,000 to buy a Tovertafel – a projector system that co-ordinates its images with the hand and arm movements of players to create a “magical” interaction.
Although it is styled a “games console” the Tovertafel is nothing like a PlayStation or Xbox. It projects light from the ceiling onto a surface below, and users can push, pop, catch or otherwise interact with the images as they appear on the table, the whole thing controlled by acute sensors.
It is intended to encourage physical and cognitive activity and social interaction in a fun way to stimulate people living with dementia and the apathy that often accompanies it.
According to the manufacturers: “The interactive games break through apathy by stimulating both physical and cognitive activity and encouraging social interaction. Moreover, the Tovertafel creates treasured moments with family members and carers. These games are all about enjoyment and wonder.”
Anita, who works at Edward Thomason & Taing House, found her plans for a hike around Mont Blanc cancelled this summer and her manager Anne-Marie Smith instead suggested fundraising for the Tovertafel, which is used in many care homes in the UK and continent.
Anne-Marie said: “During the past few years we have seen the benefits of art therapy and music therapy and how it can stimulate those living with dementia and offer them some reconnection with the world around them.
“This resource would be an amazing addition to the work already being done. And something that will be even more valuable in the current climate where visits to care homes are restricted owing to Covid-19.”
Anita said: “It will just bring so much play into the home. It will just make so much difference to people’s lives and will bring a way for the folk to interact with the bairns and relatives who are coming in to visit.”
Assistant manager at Edward Thomason & Taing House Inger Moncrieff said: “This will not only be of benefit to residents within ET & Taing Support Services and their families but also the wider community through our respite and day care service.
“We are also looking to progress our intergenerational links with schools in the future and the Tovertafel would also help to encourage interaction.”
So far Anita has raised £1,070 on her Just Giving page and hopes that a couple of big sponsors will come on board.
“I have a lot of determination and stamina that helps me along and I’m very positive that I will be able to raise another few thousand pounds through various activities for the Tovertafel,” said Anita.
Always keen for a new challenge, Anita decided that a Sumburgh lighthouse to Edward Thomason House marathon would be the centrepiece of her fundraising efforts and she plans to make the run on 15 August.
Anita ran a half-marathon in 2013 with her daughter Hannah, having put in no training and wearing a running shoe on one foot and a sandal on the other owing to a packing mishap. Amazingly, she had no blisters, but this time around is following a proper training regime.
She has three running days per week and is also taking part in three 10am virtual fitness sessions per week by Cheryl Stewart and Toya Irvine on their Lockdown Won’t Stop Us Facebook page.
Anita said: “When I started training I was peching. Now I can run and speak at the same time!”
“Many years ago” she walked from Lerwick to Sumburgh which she found a punishing ordeal, but having run 24 km on Monday morning she is confident she will complete the 42 km marathon which is still 10 weeks away.
Anita says her family will be able to trace her progress on a tracker app so that they can be there to greet her as she nears Edward Thomason & Taing House. She also hopes Hannah will be able to join her for the last few miles.
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