Three Occupational Therapy students from the University of South Australia are undertaking a nine-week participatory community practice project with Resthaven. The aim of the project is to gain understanding of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST).
CST is a structured, evidence based group therapy that has demonstrated positive results for older people with mild to moderate dementia.
Cassandra Dunn, Aleisha Zamperin and Joanne Zheng (pictured with Manager Services Development, Lynn Openshaw, Dementia Services Advisor, Ann Victora, and Community Respite Services Coordinator, Gillian Schulze) are completing their final and fourth year of their course, and are spending time at various Resthaven community services sites to see how CST and other social and respite programs are implemented.
Cassandra says, ‘The project has shown us that Occupational Therapy is much broader than what we originally thought. It has a much bigger scope than just showing people how to move. It’s amazing.’
‘The Resthaven facilitators have helped us so much. They encourage us to take some initiative, to do more ourselves.’
Manager Service Development, Lynn Openshaw, says, ‘We are enjoying working together with Cassandra, Aleisha and Joanne, and watching them learn and grow in an aged care community services environment.’
‘The project is also investigating opportunities for expansion, and developing tools and resources to assist further implementation of CST.’
‘We hope that the outcomes of the project will increase wellness-focused options for older people living with dementia.’