Chat, Stories & Tea – Cognitive Therapy
Chat, Stories and Tea is a healthy ageing program for people with short term memory loss, dementia, or mild to moderate cognitive impairment. The program can improve participant’s cognitive function and enable better quality of life by increasing their confidence and self esteem.
“The Sunshine Club is aptly names as it brings rays of sunshine into the life of members; it was just magic to see the changes in Dad, the twinkle in his eyes and the many smiles”
Chat, Stories and Tea is a program that runs for four months and involves small social groups of up to eight people facilitated by one or two specially trained staff.
The groups are structured and involve conversation and interaction around many different themes and multi sensory stimulus. They offer a regular, enjoyable and supportive social environment.
How does the Chat, Stories & Tea program work?
Whiddon’s Chat, Stories and Tea is founded on Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST), which was developed in the UK by Professor Martin Orrell and Dr Aimee Spector. CST is widely used in aged care services in the UK and many other countries.
- Structure – The groups are designed around a structure that comes from Reality Orientation therapy.
- A supportive and fun environment – There are no right or wrong answers in Chat, Stories & Tea. The participants support each other and build confidence through socialising with others in similar situations.
- Imagination not fact – Conversation and group activities draw on opinions, creative expression and life experience. The variety of themes ranging from travel, history, celebrities, gardening, music, food through to art and crafts activities and multi sensory stimulus keep the groups interesting and engaging.
- Regularity of contact – Many older people live at home on their own with little social contact or can experience difficulties in socialising in large groups. The importance of quality social interaction to mental health and cognitive function is well known. The Chat, Stories &Tea groups are small and offer the opportunity for regular contact and potentially to make new friends.
- Enjoyability – In our experience, everyone, group members and staff alike, enjoy the groups!
About Cognitive Stimulation Therapy at Whiddon
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is one of the most promising non-pharmacological evidence-based treatments. Developed by a group of dementia experts led by clinical psychologist Aimee Spector, PhD, of University College London (UCL) in England, CST seeks to delay the onset of dementia through an alternative drug free treatment.
Whiddon’s trial of CST saw incredible results – 52% of participants evidenced a significant positive effect in psychogeriatric assessment scale scores from baseline to the conclusion of the program, with some even improving enough to put them in the normal range of cognitive function.
- Read about using Cognitive Stimulation Therapy as a proactive way of supporting a person with cognitive decline.
- Watch our story on 7News here