Making Minds Matter
Resthaven has been using Cognitive Stimulation Therapy in some community activities to support older people living with dementia.
‘Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is a structured, evidence based group therapy, involving physical and mental exercises and activities to stimulate thinking, concentration and memory,’ explains Lynn Openshaw, Resthaven Manager Service Development.
‘Final and fourth year University of South Australia Occupational Therapy students, Cassandra Dunn, Aleisha Zamperin and Joanne Zheng, recently completed a nine-week community practice project with Resthaven. Their project resulted in the ‘Making Minds Matter’ program.’
‘Using principles of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, the students developed a four tiered approach to respond to the varying needs of people living with mild to moderate dementia, who were accessing services through Resthaven.
‘The benefits of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy include increased social interaction, improved alertness, confidence and communication. It also promotes physical and mindful activities, based around each person’s interests in a safe environment, where people can be engaged, empowered, and challenged. Above all, it offers an opportunity to be creative, have fun and encourage participation.
‘We have now implemented the Making Minds Matter program at Resthaven Community Respite Services. To assist in implementation, the staff were trained in the program and provided with information, work instructions, and resources.’
‘The four tiered approach of the Making Minds Matter program involves Level 1 and 2 as the evidence-based Cognitive Stimulation Therapy program of 60 minutes, twice per week, for seven weeks. This is facilitated by an Occupational Therapist, and is followed with a maintenance program.
‘Making Minds Matter Level 3 uses the principles of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy to conduct guided, small group and individual activity, particularly with people living with mild to moderate dementia, in group respite settings.
‘Making Minds Matter Level 4 uses these same principles and activities in a one-to-one setting, either when someone is attending a respite program, or in their own home.
‘We are excited to introduce this program and look forward to improving the lives of participants.’
Resthaven provides a range of social and physical activities at various locations throughout the metropolitan area, in Murray Bridge, Strathalbyn, Port Elliot, Loxton, Naracoorte, Millicent and Mount Gambier.