What is MCST?
Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) is a weekly one- to two-hour-long programme for people living with mild to moderate dementia.
Group members take part in meaningful and stimulating activities, proven to help maintain memory and mental functioning. The groups provide a fun, supportive environment where people can build new friendships.
- word games
- physical activities
- creative and musical activities.
Why is MCST so important?
After someone is diagnosed with dementia, they may be offered Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). This is a short-term programme for people with mild to moderate dementia and usually runs twice weekly for seven weeks following diagnosis.
However once this programme finishes, there’s limited provision of services for people with mild to moderate dementia. MCST is a longer-term programme based in community settings which helps to fill this gap.
Cognitive Stimulation is the only non-drug treatment recommended to improve cognition, independence and well-being by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
"Enabling people to have fun"
What’s its impact so far?
Group members, carers and staff all stated the following benefits:
- Enjoyment, having fun and increasing levels of happiness.
- A sense of belonging and making new friendships.
- Increased confidence in ability and to try other new things.
- Improvements in communication, including reading and writing.
- Improvements in memory and mental ability.
- Having more energy.
- Increased levels of physical activity.