Cognitive stimulation therapy refers to a form of therapy used to stimulate and engage individuals, particularly those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, to maintain and preserve cognitive functioning. Cognitive stimulation therapy can be done for a wide variety of people, including people with healthy aging seniors, people with intellectual disabilities, and children.
Trained clinical providers can provide cognitive stimulation therapy. Traditionally, cognitive stimulation therapy has been provided for people living in residential facilities, hospitals, and day programs. However, it is possible to provide cognitive stimulation therapy one-on-one, in a group, via telehealth sessions, and in a classroom setting.
Widely studied in people with dementia, cognitive stimulation therapy has been effective. More research is needed to understand how cognitive stimulation therapy may benefit people with intellectual disabilities, Parkinson’s disease, and cognitive development in children.
Here are some of the many studies that have demonstrated the efficacy of cognitive stimulation therapy:
Farzana, F., Sreekanth, V., Mohiuddin, M. K., Mohan, V., Balakrishna, N., & Ahuja, Y. R. (2015). Can individual home‐based cognitive stimulation therapy benefit Parkinson’s patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment?. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 30(4), 433-435.
Orrell, M., Aguirre, E., Spector, A., Hoare, Z., Woods, R. T., Streater, A., … & Russell, I. (2014). Maintenance cognitive stimulation therapy for dementia: single-blind, multicentre, pragmatic randomized controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 204(6), 454-461.
Spector, A., Thorgrimsen, L., Woods, B. O. B., Royan, L., Davies, S., Butterworth, M., & Orrell, M. (2003). Efficacy of an evidence-based cognitive stimulation therapy programme for people with dementia: randomized controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 183(3), 248-254.
The loss of ability to think, reason, and remember can be frightening for anyone, but particularly for elderly people. Cognitive stimulation therapy can help people living with dementia improve their cognitive functioning and avoid fast deterioration of cognitive functioning.
Commonly thought of as the type of dementia that leads to an individual forgetting their identity, the identities of loved ones, losing their ability to speak, and losing their place in space and time. With Cognitive stimulation, you can provide therapy for your patients with Alzheimer’s disease to help them learn strategies to assist with the remembrance of loved ones and recall words that they would like to say.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to tremors, rigid muscles, speech, and writing changes. Parkinson’s disease can cause someone to develop cognitive impairment. Cognitive stimulation may help reduce the severity and rapidity of decline in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Cognitive stimulation therapy may help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn strategies that can help them regulate their emotions and behavior as well as build cognitive skills that can help them gain employment or take steps to becoming more independent.
Cognitive stimulation therapy can help children have fun while challenging their brains to learn strategies that can help them succeed academically and socially. By providing young minds with ample opportunities to stimulate their brain, you can help foster their cognitive development which will help them succeed as they grow.
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