Why use the principles of CST?
Memory Matters are championing Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). When we’re not teaching it, we’re running groups. It’s simple, effective and really good fun (that’s without mentioning its sound evidence-based and the fact that it’s recommended by NICE).
Here are some of the key principles that fit well in our day club environment:
We never test… Our practitioners never ask questions with a factual answer. We always stimulate discussion using opinions and feelings. This is because when we ask about facts there is either a right or a wrong answer, which can lead to discomfort, feeling ’put on the spot’ and general ill-being.
Consider the difference between; “Where did you go on holiday as a child?” and “Where is your favourite place to go on holiday?”
We use Reality Orientation (R.O) subtly and sensitively… We know from research that reality orientation works well for people living with dementia. A common problem is not being orientated which can cause anxiety and distress. For others, not being orientated does not cause distress at all.
We use R.O. it as set out in the principles of CST. Our practitioners will use subtle cues throughout the day to help orientate people to the place, time, date and season. Some of the cues are visual and others will be verbal eg. “I am quite full after my lunch”, “Isn’t the weather grim for May?”
We are consistent… The principles tell us that consistency is key. Because of this we are running the activity club in exactly the same way each time. The activities and group content will change to create interest and stimulation but the schedule for the day will remain the same. This helps to orientate and create a familiar environment.
We get to know our members… We make sure that we provide activities that are suitable for our members and to do this we find out and get to know what’s important to our members.
We are full of fun… CST is fun and so is our activity day club. It is important that our members will enjoy their time with us and we believe that by following the CST principles we help people to feel stimulated, supported and have a good time.