BAT (Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy) is an innovative idea that is really making a difference to people living with dementia. We first heard of the amazing work they do earlier this year at the Alzheimer’s Show at Olympia, where their fun stand attracted huge crowds.
This stand was in fact, a specially adapted ‘Butterfly’ Table Tennis table that incorporates side panels to help keep the ball from bouncing off the table, keeping the ball in play and helping give a sense of confidence and control to the players.
Table Tennis has been shown to have a real benefit to people living with Alzheimer’s disease and trials have found that playing can stimulate up to 5 areas of the brain. It is also thought to improve hand/eye coordination, stimulate the Hippocampus, extend long-term memory and enhance motor skills.
ATS company director Anna Terry also had the pleasure of working alongside them at the recent Care and Dementia Show (11-12 October, NEC Birmingham). She felt that there was real benefit to the work and research BAT is involved in, stating:
‘Although I was well aware of the benefits of people with dementia partaking in regular exercise, I was reminded last week of just how versatile and inclusive Table Tennis is. It is definitely an activity that can be played and enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age or ability. I was really heartened too by the way in which the game seemed to break down barriers and enabled older people to feel comfortable and happy to join in.
It’s certainly a great way to engage and connect with people in any setting and a perfect way to keep mind and body active. I really enjoyed playing the game last week and will be looking out for the next opportunity to join in!’
BAT, along with Kings College London, are currently undergoing new research looking in more detail at brain function of people who already have on-set Alzheimer’s and in particular, at how playing Table Tennis could help reverse or even prevent the disease developing.
For more information on BAT (Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy) go to: www.batfoundation.com or watch a video showing more at http://www.batfoundation.com/research-and-development/