Over 33,000 West Australians live with dementia. Southern Cross Care (WA) is working to slow the progression of the disease for its clients and support the dementia community through its new Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) program.
Run in partnership with the dementia support service Memory Nurture, the 16-week CST program has involved residents living at Success Village, as well as members of the local community from surrounding suburbs, who have mild to moderate dementia.
Participants of the CST program were split into two courses. Firstly, a Life Stories group ran weekly on Tuesdays for 12 weeks and participants created a book about their life which they got to keep. Each week the group discussed different topics to help them create their life storybook of memories. The second CST course ran weekly on Fridays for 16 weeks and participants took part in activities that aim to help their overall cognitive function and involved planning activities, strategic games and quizzes to stimulate memory recall and cognitive function.
Participants completed a cognitive screening assessment prior to the program and they will complete a formal evaluation at the conclusion of the program. Results will be available in the coming weeks and anecdotal feedback has been extremely positive from participants and their family supports around noticeable marked improvements in cognition.
There are many proven benefits of cognitive stimulation therapy for people living with mild to moderate dementia such as:
- Improved well-being, mood and day-to-day abilities.
- Increased cognitive function and memory enhancement.
- Slow down cognitive deterioration or cognitive effects in a neurodegenerative process.
- Enjoyment, having fun and increasing levels of happiness.
- Enhanced social engagement. A sense of belonging and making new friendships.
- Enhanced quality of life, helping participants to remain living at home and functioning independently for longer.
Southern Cross Care (WA) Wellness Partner and program facilitator, Wayne Enright, said the program has been very beneficial for participants.
“This program is a first, at Southern Cross Care (WA). There are so many benefits to cognitive stimulation therapy for people living with mild to moderate dementia and it is hoped that this program will inspire others in our community who are living with mild to moderate dementia to join the program so they too can benefit.”
You can learn more about our dementia care services here: https://www.scrosswa.org.au/our-services/dementia-care/