Improving Memory With Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
Posted by Lillyburn Care Home
Lillyburn’s cognitive stimulation therapy group started back again today after taking a break for a few weeks. We welcomed a few new members and started our first session reminiscing about some famous people in the 1960’s. The group will take place each week on a Friday over a 12-week period followed by 12 week maintenance sessions.
Margaret has been attending the CST group for over a year now and very seldom misses it. Before the group started today she appeared tired and not up for doing much. She fully participated in the group, reminiscing about her early life in Maryhill. At the end of the session she was more talkative and definitely seemed a lot happier.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a programme of themed activities, usually carried out over several weeks in small groups, led by a trained member of staff. Each session covers a different topic and is designed to improve the mental abilities and memory of someone with dementia. Evidence so far suggests that Cognitive Stimulation Therapy could be just as beneficial as drug treatments for the symptoms of dementia.
Each session follows the same structure, though the theme changes. Topics might include childhood, food, current affairs and using money. Different activities will be offered around each theme, for example, one week the activities might involve word puzzles or games, another week playing a musical instrument. The group should provide a supportive atmosphere and the activities should offer a range of multi-sensory experiences...and be fun.
A trial in 23 care homes and day centres showed that CST led to 'significant benefits' in mental ability and memory, similar to the benefits of taking medication for symptoms of memory loss. Further research revealed that CST could also make a significant impact on language skills such as naming, word-finding and comprehension. They also saw an increase in confidence and psychological well-being.