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A bit about CST...

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a therapy that is proven to slow the progression of dementia and increase quality of life. It is a psychological treatment for people with mild and moderate dementia, which is offered in both a group and individual format. 

 

CST has several benefits on cognitive functioning, quality of life, and quality of the caregiving relationship. The intervention provides a fun and meaningful approach toward staying mentally stimulated and engaged.

 

CST is highlighted in the World Alzheimer Report 2022 by Aimee Spector and Emily Fisher's expert essay, which can be read in full on p. 245. The describe CST as being 'the only non-pharmacological intervention specifically recommended to improve cognition, independence and wellbeing by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance'.

How CST is used in our sessions.

MyMusicWorks incorporates the 18 'Key Principles' of CST alongside the power of music to engage and support those living with dementia, their families and carers.

What happens in a CST session?

CST sessions are structured and follow a general theme, such as 'Homes and Gardens' or 'Travel'. The Group members choose a name and a 'theme song' at the very first session, which is used for the duration of the group. A choice of activities is available in order to cater to the interests of the group and consistency between sessions is created through using the same warm-up activity, a reality orientation (RO) board containing information about the group and the 'theme song'. 

Gardening Together

How we add to our sessions

MyMusicWorks adds elements of music throughout their sessions by structuring songs, pieces of music and sing-a-longs into each group meeting.

Age UK among many other organisations and researchers understand the importance of music for those living with dementia, their families and carers.

"The power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories and kickstart the grey matter is an increasingly key feature of dementia care. It seems to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of communication cannot". (www.ageuk.org.uk)

Guidelines and Recommendations

Conference Speaker

CST is recommended in numerous guidelines and endorsed by leading organisations in the UK and beyond, such as:

  • The UK 2018 NICE guidelines on the management of dementia recommend CST for people with mild to moderate dementia “to promote cognition, independence and wellbeing”. Cognitive stimulation is the only non-drug intervention to be recommended for cognitive symptoms and maintenance of function.

  • Alzheimer's Society advocates the use of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy.

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