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Issue 2 July 2011

Hello Everyone, Thank you for your feedback from the last newsletter and thanks to those who have attended workshops and training sessions. Your feedback has been invaluable. You have told us, and we have seen that you are enthusiastic and motivated to lead meaningful activities, groups and assessment in your places of work but that the fundamentals have to be right e.g. staffing levels. We continue to help you find solutions and you continue to enthuse, motivate and spur us on.

Memory Matters News Issue 2


Enjoy the read!

Ward based Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is a new project that we

are working on here at Memory Matters. The idea behind this project is to enable hospital wards to use the Cognitive Stimulation model to provide appropriate meaningful activity within a ward environment. It has been well received in Somerset where staff will be looking at implementing CST within nurse protected time on the ward. The use of CST on wards was audited in Sussex in 2009; the findings were that the sessions not only improved the wellbeing of patients but also enabled the staff to make a more accurate and thorough assessment of activity needs in a fun and enjoyable way. ( You can read about this at Go to the ‘ Putting guidance into practice ’ tab, click on ‘ shared learning ’ and search for CST) We are also in the process of developing an activity passport based on the CST themes. The information that the ward staff receive following the Memory Matters training enables them to record activity successes in a brief yet informative document that can travel with the person to their next placement or home. We feel the passport will help to ensure that people living with dementia will have more opportunities to engage successfully in new environments and that it will support staff with the planning of appropriate cognitively stimulating activity. For more information contact :


Laura and Kate

Big Thank You to Jo You may have noticed that Jo Hague is missing form the front page picture! With much deliberation Jo decided to step down as Director for Memory Matters South West. She has many commitments including her great work as dementia lead for Outlook South West and her dedication to the Lostwithiel Memory Cafe which she continues to run with Laura and the great team of Lostwithiel Rotary volunteers. (Jo and Laura recently received a ‘Community Service Award’ in recognition of creating and maintaining the Lostwithiel Memory Cafe and being the inspiration for its success.) We want to say a great big “thank you” to Jo for all her hard work in our first year and wish her every success in all that she does. Jo will continue to be called upon as a consultant and trainer for Memory Matters and we value her input greatly.

Activity Co-ordinators The last Activity Co-ordinators Network Meeting was hosted by Vanetta, activity co-ordinator at The Grove, Charlestown. Here are some of the activities that we shared: There has been some great work going on with maps. Ingrid (AC from Beaumont house, Bodmin) has been working on using orientation within the home in a subtle and implicit way, as set out in the principles of Cognitive Stimulation. She has hung a map in an accessible area and has printed out amusing sayings about travel that she has displayed around the map. The map has helped to orientate residents to place and has stimulated some great discussion on travel and places of interest. Ingrid intends to use reminiscence to plot peoples favourite places and travels using wool. Vanetta (AC from the Grange) has also been using a wall mounted map to plot one resident’s son’s Navy travels using wool. Ian (AC from North Hill House, St Austell) has been having fun making ‘pet rocks’ with the residents there. They sold like ‘hot rocks’ at the summer fete! We talked a lot about environment, particularly for 2people with dementia. It is so important that people Page 2

living with dementia in care homes have the opportunity for cognitive stimulation and relaxation. Ingrid has purchased a set of framed pictures specifically selected to be accessible and relevant to people with dementia. They are a hit with residents. Pictures should be hung at 4ft from the ground to ensure they are the right eye level. Visit and check out their wonderful books too. Ingrid has also been working with residents to create signs to personalise doors. She recommended printing out pictures that are meaningful and recognisable to the resident to accompany their name and frame it. She recommends A4 ‘snap frames’. We found these: Emily (AC from Castle Hill House, Bodmin) talked about the sun/ wind catchers she had made with residents there. These make a great activity, and serve as visual stimulation when hung outside windows. Instructions coming soon on our blog.

If you would like to come to the next AC meeting details are opposite. For more information on anything mentioned in the newsletter contact either: or

Diary Dates Next Activity Co-ordinator Network Meeting Monday 3rd October. 10 am Castle Hill House, Bodmin. Hosted by Emily The network is for anyone who works therapeutically with people in care homes. Come and chat with others doing the same job and get ideas for activities.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)

Group Facilitation Workshop 14th September 2011 9am-4pm £45 inc. lunch Launceston. Gain the skills to facilitate your own research based Cognitive Stimulation Therapy groups.

This valuable workshop will undoubtedly change the way in Please let Laura know if you want to attend and whether you which you work with those can offer a place to meet in your living with Dementia. care home in the future. To book email

Expand your knowledge!

What’s new? We were lucky enough to have received a small grant from Cornwall Council to update our website. We have Iteracy working as we speak on a new look website that will have lots more information for activity co-ordinators, care staff and carers. We have noticed that the online forum doesn’t get posted on as much as we had hoped however it does have a large amount of visitors and posts do get read. Because of this we are going to stop the forum but continue with the blog so that you can log on and read what’s going on without feeling the need to post. We will be moving it all over in the next couple of months. 3

If you have any suggestions of topics you would like us to blog about let us know. MY WORLD is a project we began working on at the beginning of this year. We wanted to create an experience that would help carers and nursing staff to explore what it may feel like to experience some of the symptoms of dementia. By creating an unfamiliar environment and stepping learners through the symptoms, we hope to promote understanding of the perspective of those living with dementia in care homes. Sessions will be ready to run from September 2011.

We continue to run fun, interactive and cognitively stimulating groups for people experiencing memory loss. MEMORY MATTERS GROUPS run regularly in care homes around Cornwall and are based on the principles of cognitive stimulation therapy (CST). We also run CST sessions in people’s own homes. ELEPHANT WORKSHOPS: Coming soon! Workshops for people who wish to be proactive about maintaining a healthy brain. These sessions are aimed at all ages and are fun and energetic sessions to teach how to keep your brain in top condition. The workshops also teach memory tips and skills. Contact us for more information on any of the above.

Carers’ Corner Workshop Jo held two very successful workshops recently for those involved in Memory Cafés in Cornwall. The workshop covered support and coaching skills to use with carers of those living with Dementia in the community. Jo introduced the model in which carers and those living with dementia gain peer support by parting ways for 45 minutes during the cafe. Carers gain support from coaching while those living with dementia can access Cognitive Stimulation Therapy. Comments from attendees...

Recommended Websites: Is a great resource for anyone doing life story work. We met with the team earlier this year and feel this is a great forum to start building information and collecting memories. It’s a brilliant tool for relatives and staff to use to build a picture of your residents. Developed by a care home nurse; This is a fantastic site for those who are not ‘computer-minded’. It’s a

“I am taking away some useful ideas from this workshop” “it’s given me a good model to start up a memory café”

simple to use e-mail and communication platform for anyone who wants to keep in touch with family in a very simple way. Don’t forget you can follow us on twitter: #memorymatterssw and look us

Win an Activity Apron !!

up on facebook

A Chance to win an activity apron worth £20: Send us your favourite activity via e-mail and the one we consider to be the most ‘innovative and resourceful’ will win an activity apron for your place of work! Designed for people with cognitive difficulties who like to keep their hands busy. Bright colours, different textures and pocket treasures provide stimulation, promote interaction and improve motor skills. Our aprons are engaging for people who have dementia, have experienced a stroke or have difficulties with cognition, (thinking and processing.) A common symptom is sensory movement such as repetitive touch, scrunching of clothes, picking at items and rummaging. Our aprons help maintain dignity. Pockets are available to fill with treasures. E-mail; by 1st October 2011 What will you dementia he continues to inspire and do for D.A.D? touch us on a daily basis. Norm had a vision to set up a day that wasn’t about Norm Mcnafund-raising and didn’t belong to any mara is a particular organisation but that regular poster brought all people together to raise awareness of dementia. on our forum and is known by many people all round the world as a man who is determined Dementia Awareness Day is on Saturday 17th September and many to change the lot of people living with dementia. Having written books and people throughout the UK and the poetry on his experience of living with world will be marking the day.

We will be letting lanterns into the sky at dusk. Why not involve the people you work with in letting lanterns into the sky at dusk or lilac balloons at lunch-time to raise awareness of dementia. You can read Norm’s posts on our forum page or look out for him on facebook.

Memory Matters South West CIC 34 Lakeview Close, Plymouth PL5 4LX T: 01208 871683 E: Registered Company No: 7285140 Directors: Laura Michael RMN, Kate Smith RGN, Mike Stead

Memory Matters South West CIC are a not for profit company run by nurses who specialise in activities for People living with dementia.


Memory Matters SW newsletter July2011 (2)