Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is an evidence-based group treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia. It is the only non-drug therapy recommended to improve cognition, independence and wellbeing by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. We’ve run CST courses since 2009 – here’s what people say about CST:
I enjoyed everything, it has been really good… The group has helped me remember more and it is helpful to get thinking.”
“I have enjoyed the discussions, singing, joking and playing. Noticed a few improvements in my memory, been a little bit more confident in conversations.”
Courses run for seven weeks on Friday afternoons, several times a year. There are six to eight participants in a group.
CST is designed to stimulate memory by being challenging, yet enjoyable. There is a strong focus on having fun, with lots of discussions and sharing of opinions.
There are no tests involved and you cannot ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. We will ask you to complete a questionnaire at the end of the seven weeks, to help us monitor impact.
What does the course involve?
During the first session, the members of the group decide on a group name and theme song. Each week will consist of a discussion about current news stories, then there are activities based around two themes:
Week 1 – Physical Games & Sounds
Week 2 – Childhood & Food
Week 3 – Current Affairs & Faces/ Scenes
Week 4 – Word Associations & Being Creative
Week 5 – Categorising Objects & Orientation
Week 6 – Using Money & Number Games
Week 7 – Word Games & Team Quiz
Benefits of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
CST is a therapy that has been well researched with results showing a positive improvement for people with dementia. The programme was devised by psychologist Dr Aimee Spector and has been designed to improve confidence and wellbeing.
‘CST is found to be beneficial by providing a positive experience of being part of a group and also by providing a supportive and nonthreatening environment which in turn has led to improvements in mood, concentration and confidence’. (Spector et al., 2010)
Cognitive stimulation therapy is thought to have particular benefits for language and has been shown to significantly improve quality of life in people with dementia.
RICE also offer a course to learn how to cope with dementia day-to-day as well as a dementia course for carers of people with a diagnosis. Our courses are only possible thanks to generous charitable donations to RICE.