A Club For People With Mild Dementia

When it came time for Jackie to retire from the NHS as an Admiral nurse she wanted to continue to work for people living with dementia. A carer had asked where her husband could go for stimulation. She was concerned that the only avenue open to them seemed to be day centres and in her words “he’s not that bad”. Jackie had received training in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) which is an evidence based group programme of activity and stimulation grounded in person centred care. It is recommended in the NICE Guidelines (2006) as a non-drug related treatment for memory problems. This seemed to be the sort of thing she was looking for. CST normally runs as a two hour session, twice a week, over seven weeks and is led by professionals but as with many therapies there comes a time when a person is discharged from the service.

With this in mind Jackie developed a programme that is based on and run in the same structured way as a CST session. She extended the time from 2 hours to become a day of activity, stimulation, music and fun for a person with mild dementia.

The day is from 10am to 3pm, once a week, for as long as a member can benefit from the stimulation. It provides the opportunity for them to recall or develop new skills in activities and to facilitate the transfer of these skills to activities at home. It also provides the family/carer/significant other with a day’s respite. Fun is a key component to the day.

Two of the authors of CST, Dr Aimee Spector and Professor Bob Woods have given advice and support for this project. For more information about CST : www.cstdementia.com