An affordable programme designed to benefit people with dementia will be run regularly on the Coast, following a successful trial last year.
Trained therapists from Platinum Community Centre will run the Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) sessions as an outreach of their service, which is based in Red Beach.
CST is a group therapy, designed to improve quality of life and reduce the amount of medication that people with mild to moderate dementia may need to take.
Platinum’s Monica Grimshaw says that CST was developed in Wales and brought back to New Zealand by Dr Kathy Peri and Dr Gary Cheung a few years ago.
She says it has given a name, and a strong evidential basis, to the type of therapy that Platinum’s occupational therapists have been providing in Red Beach for many years.
Research suggests that CST is as effective as anti-dementia drugs in improving cognition.
Last year Platinum trialed CST sessions in Orewa and Monica says feedback was very positive. This has led to a plan to offer the programme on an ongoing basis.
Starting next month, Platinum will provide a series of structured, seven-week-long programmes, based at Evelyn Page Retirement Village in Orewa. Participants attend a total of 14, one-hour sessions in groups of six to eight people.
Activities include team games and discussions covering a range of topics. Monica says taking part in activities like this helps people with mild to moderate dementia maintain socialisation skills and also keeps them stimulated and focused.
The cost is $10 per session. The programme is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with dementia, and referrals from health professionals and local agencies are also welcome.
At the conclusion of the course, participants have the option of joining a “maintenance group” that will run at Platinum in Red Beach for a further 26 weeks.
Info, phone Monica or Megan, 421 1511.