Therapy which sparks the memories of those living with dementia has been hailed a success for the residents of our Bicester care home. Langford View has become one of the first care homes in the country to introduce a course to get residents thinking back.

Sessions look into recalling memories and current news affairs to improve its patients quality of life and in the process slow down the advance of dementia.

Activities coordinator Beverley Cotton said: "This has made a huge difference for our residents.

"We have noticed people who have done the sessions are a lot happier about themselves, more confident and have grown friendships outside the sessions.

"It is about the benefits for our residents and if they keep their mind active it can help slow the dementia down."

The group cognitive stimulation therapy sessions include coming up with a group name and song which is sang at the beginning and end of each session.  Other activities include reading local newspapers to stay up-to-date with current affairs.

Ms Cotton added: "This week one of the papers had a map of England so we worked our way through places the residents have travelled and what they did there."

The sessions are designed to keep residents minds active by using props such as old money, children's toys and food tasting to spark memories.  Before starting the course, residents are given a questionnaire which gives a quality of life score asking questions such as how they would rate their mobility.

Ms Cotton added that they had already seen a great difference in the scores received after therapy compared to before.

Oxfordshire-based admiral nurse Angie Williams said "We are using quality of life assessments at the beginning and end of the programme to identify the changes and improvements as this will provide evidence of the efficacy of the programme.  This in turn will assist with supporting further CST programmes in other Order of St John Care Trust homes.  Reflective sessions have been carried out with the facilitators as this provides excellent feedback and reflections on how they feel sessions have identified the need for any changes to brought about.  This has been a very successful CST programme, the changes in resident’s quality of life and motivation were seen very early on.  I am hoping the evidence will encourage other OSJCT homes to facilitate similar activities."

Further care homes across the county are taking on the sessions following its success at Langford View and it is hoped this will spread further throughout the rest of the country.