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-base and the fact that it’s recommended by NICE
We are not funded for our activity clubs which means that we have to ask our club members to help towards the cost of the clubs. We are a small organisation so to help with cashflow we ask for payment in advance. This also secures your place for the coming month.
We don't expect anyone to pay before they have come along and spent a day with us to see if they will like it. You can come for an hour with a partner or friend so that you can both get a feel of how the day runs and try a free trial day before you commit to a full month.
We also have the option of paying ad hoc- This means that it costs more but you can phone up until the day before to book a place and you are not then comitted to paying for the full month.
It costs £28 per day if you pay for a full month in advance. You will usually be invoiced on the 15th of the month before the month of payment due. This guarantees you a place.
Ad hoc sessions can be booked up to a day before the activity club day and cost £40. These are charged at the end of the month for the days you attended. Ad hoc sessions are only available if there are spare places.
Memory Matters' activity workers are skilled, trained and experienced individuals who work with older adults to enable them to stay as independent as possible. They offer therapuetic activities, occupation, cognitive stimulation and access to social groups to stave off boredom and stimulate thinking.
Our activity workers are trained and experienced in working therapuetically with people living with dementia, however we do also work with older adults who may be isolated. Our activity worker's emphasis is usually on brain health and so can spend time with people in their own homes, care homes or hospitals offering activities that help stimulate the brain and encourage social interaction.
If you decide you would like an activity worker, a manager will come and visit you and talk about the sorts of things you enjoy doing. Activity workers will always be lead by your likes and dislikes and offer activities accordingly. Some examples of things our activity workers are involved in:
Our activity workers can be booked for at least a two hour session, depending on your needs. Some people prefer to have one longer visit a week while others like to have shorter but more frequent visits. This will depend on what you would like to do in your activity time.
Cognitive Stimulation therapy or CST is a brief group treatment for dementia that does not use medication. The groups are usually between 6-8 people in them and have two facilitators.
The programme was devised by psychologist Dr. Aimee Spector, Prof Martin Orell and Prof Bob Woods and a team researchers and has been shown to be as effective as drugs used for cognitive symptoms or difficulties with memory.
It is an activity based programme for six to people and is run by two group leaders or facilitators.
The sessions are structured, consistent and have a focus; topics include word games, number games, current affairs, sounds, food, creative activities, using money and physical games.
There is a strong focus on having fun and the groups are usually a place where friendships are formed and bonds created. There will be lots of discussion and focus is always on sharing opinions rather than facts (Nobody is ever put on the spot). No answers are ever wrong because CST uses an approach where their are many different answers. The group is a supportive environment where group members are able to support each other.
It means that CST has been researched and has been found to have good outcomes for people living with dementia. In particular it has been found to improve quality of life and cognition (or thinking) and in particular language skills.
At the moment yes. Cognitive stimulation therapy facilitators are not governed by a proffessional body and therefore anyone could potentially offer CST. Because of this it is difficult to discern how close the therapy being offered is to the researched-based CST.
You can determine this by asking lots of questions. We are always happy to answer questions. Our CST facillitators undergo facilitation training and undergo regular supervision from a qualified nurse to ensure that the principles of evidence-based CST are followed.
It is worth saying that any stimulation is good as long as people don't feel 'on the spot' or like they are being tested. CST ideally should not feel like a 'class' but a meeting of friends discussing opinions and new ideas.
It is worth reading up a little about what CST should look like and the key principles that were followed during the research to establish whether your CST group is close to the evidence based approach.
Your CST facilitator should have good group facilitation skills. If your facilitator is a quallified mental health nurse or occupational therapist they will have group facilitation skills as part of their basic training. Memory Matters CST group facilitators undergo group facilitation training and are observed and have regular professional supervision. We recommend that all facilitators have this.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of diseases and conditions that effect the brain causing problems with memory and thinking and consequently day to day living. You can read all about dementia and the symptoms on the Alzheimer's society website.
We all experience difficulties with our memory from one time to another but if you feel it's becoming more than just the odd memory lapse then it will be worth getting it checked out. You can either visit your GP or in Cornwall you can self refer to your nearest memory clinic There is useful information on the Alzheimer's society website about what to do if you're worried.
Memory matters’ is a Community Interest Company, (a social enterprise) This means that we run like any other business. The only difference is that any profits that we make get reinvested in to the business or go in to dementia projects. Our funding comes from selling training, recreation groups and soon, our activity workers service.
At the moment we are a fledgling business and so we are unable to fund any big projects but we do commit our time to volunteering in projects that we believe in. For example Laura volunteers for the Lostwithiel Memory Café’ and also runs the Cornwall Activity Co-ordinator Network.
We recently received a small grant to offer training in safe moving and handling for carers of loved ones living with dementia in the community.
It is projects like this that we hope to be able to fund ourselves in the future.