3.6 Recognize the mutual benefits to the person and their carer of CST and other aspects
This topic outlines the common benefits between people with dementia and their carers during and after the implementation of CST.
After completing the module, you will find out:
- The CST benefits to the person and their carers.
As a long-term and often unpredictable condition, dementia not only imposes a significant impact on the life of the person with dementia but also on those involved in their care. CST can be a useful tool for both carers and people with dementia. Studies in the UK and worldwide have shown that during CST both people with dementia and family or friends’ carers valued mental stimulation and engaged in meaningful activities which helped them keep in touch and experience better the world that surrounds them .
Taking part in the CST intervention motivate people with dementia to keep their mind active and look for more information related to mental stimulation. More precisely, the results of several studies demonstrate that this treatment enhances memory, language, concentration, problem-solving, verbal fluency, as well as the well-being of people with dementia. Their carers also experience improved communication and interaction with the person they care while maintaining their quality of life and psychological well-being.
So far, the dominant conceptual model for caregiving is the stress-coping model that assumes that the onset and progression of chronic illness and physical disability are stressful for both the person with dementia and the family caregiver. Therefore, it is expected that by increasing the person with dementia’s cognitive abilities and well-being through CST, there is also an improvement in family caregivers’ mood and well-being.
Mainly, the home-based cognitive stimulation intervention (iCST) which requires family caregivers to deliver the therapy has elicited evidence of improvement in the caregivers’ well-being. Given that iCST significantly improves the caregiving relationship quality and carer well-being, the program might be a useful part of custom-tailored home care packages, which may help to maintain people with dementia in their own homes for longer. This has also the potential to prolong the carers’ ability to provide care for the person with dementia as well as contribute to the cost-effectiveness of dementia care .
As the language dimension improves during CST, communication, and social interaction between the person with dementia and people around him/her will subsequently improve as well. Improvement in the communication of thoughts and feelings might serve as an indicator of changes in QoL following improvement in cognitive functions. People with dementia and family carers valued CST sessions as a tool that enabled them to initiate conversations and provided a framework for communication. It provides an opportunity for both to spend quality time together and acts as an aid to communication while enhancing the carer’s health-related QoL and mood .
- Studies have shown that involving carers in cognitive stimulation interventions for the person they care for can have positive benefits for both.
- CST improves the well-being, and the communication of people with dementia as well as their carers.
1. List of references
- Leung, P. (2019). People’s experiences of cognitive stimulation therapy. A qualitative understanding. In: Yates, A., YatesJ., Orrell M., et al (editors). Cognitive stimulation therapy for dementia: history, evolution, and internationalism. 1st edition. Oxford: Routledge.
- Aguirre, E., Hoare, Z., Spector, A., Woods, R., Orrell, M. (2014). The effects of a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy [CST] program for people with dementia on family caregivers’ health. https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2318-14-31
- T., Shazli, G., Ponnusamy, S. (2016). The acceptability and usefulness of CST for older adults with dementia: a narrative review. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijad/2016/5131570/