What is it?
Cognitive Stimulation therapy (CST) Is a brief 14 session psychosocial treatment. It uses many researched therapeutic approaches in structured 45 minute group therapy sessions. CST provides peer support to people living with memory loss.
Example: A typical session would involve an introduction, a look at current news stories with discussion and the sharing of opinions. Listening to or singing a song and then a main topic which will bring in as many of the senses as possible. A topic such as physical games may involve a team game such as skittles where scoring can be kept to prompt some number skills as well as physical exercise. Groups are generally good fun and always keep to the same structure.
Who is it suitable for?
CST is suitable for people in the mild to moderate stages of dementia.
Where is it available?
CST is a researched-based treatment recomended by the National Institiute of health and clinical excellence (NICE) therefore it should be offered to all people in the mild to moderate stages of dementia. Despite this it is still not readily available. Ask your healthcare professional where you can access it.
In Cornwall you will be offered CST once you have a diagnosis and if you fit the criteria. There are also maintenance sessions to be taken after the initial course of treatment that can be accessed through Age UK. If you do not meet the criteria or are unable to access CST you can pay to access it privately through Memory Matters.
In Plymouth Memory Matters are currently funded to run CST courses for people living at home with dementia. You can find out more by contacting us