Up close with the BAT therapy table
The BAT Therapy Table's ground breaking design is the culmination of years of development between BAT and our key partners at Butterfly, Inclusion, University of Stirling, and King's College London, resulting in the world's first table tennis therapy table packed with unique features to support and boost the benefits of playing table tennis for those living with Alzheimer's
The table has been devised specifically to enhance the therapeutic experience of table tennis for those with Alzheimer's, whilst also countering the visual deprivations that are experienced in the early stages of the condition; including visual field deficit, loss of visual processing speed, visual field defects, contrast sensitivity, colour discrimination, reduced visuospatial processing, and minimal foveal representation.
One of the goals in optimising the BAT Therapy Table concept, at the earliest intervention, is to arrest and potentially reverse, in the short term, these cortical changes and to slow the progression before irreversible cortical damage ensues. There are several ways the table supports this:
- The table's clinical white playing surface, utilised with bright orange balls, enhances contrast.
- The attached side panels increases spatial awareness, creates a secure, non-distracting and comforting play zone, and enhances peripheral vision.
- The extended borders emphasise perspective and aid visual field map organisation.
Another aim in the development of the BAT Therapy Table is to multiply the activities benefits for the physical condition of the user, which is already known to be strong through such an intervention. The tables design enhances these in numerous ways, including:
- Increased play duration provides a longer intervention, which in turn means additional sideways motion, amplifying the benefit around balance.
- The added aspect of playing against the side panels creates a need for more changes in users body position, which supports their upper body strength.
- The subtle adjustments in paddle placement brought about by changes in ball direction assists in improved fine motor skills.
The BAT Design Team is also currently augmenting the BAT Therapy Table's enormous potential with an initial series of eight interactive therapy activity programmes, together with specialist equipment in collaboration with Stirling University's highly acclaimed Dementia Services Development Centre.
These will be incorporated into a comprehensive training curriculum for care setting Activities Managers, health body Therapy Providers, and anyone who works with or cares for those living with Alzheimer's. In the meantime take a look at our Resources page, where you'll find a series of activities, exercises, and games all downloaded able for free.