About Me

My name is Simon O’Donovan MBE. I’ve worked in NHS Wales for most of my adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

I recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service. I continue to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


I've been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive our activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


My colleagues and I have been using these approaches regularly in our day to day work and have found them beneficial. The materials provided have been tried and tested, then refined to improve and further develop them for future use.


The main aim of this website is to share our experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


Follow my Twitter feed for updates   @sIMon_deMEntia
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2018 Simon O'Donovan. Proudly created with Wix.com  2019

sIMon deMEntia

"Focus on Me!"

The sIMon deMEntia blog aims to provide easy to use resources to support cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) approaches with people living with young onset dementia. 

Some key principles:

- keep it Free
- keep it Fun
- focus on Wellbeing of the person
- keep it Simple
- keep it Vibrant

... the aim being that family, friends, care staff and professionals can benefit people with dementia they care about with the CST approaches outlined on these pages and using the resources provided.

Please note that the CST Blog is based on activities used in a Young Onset Dementia Friendship Group, but it will hopefully have wider relevance for older people CST sessions. Please subscribe below to receive regular updates or follow @simon_dementia Twitter feed.

November 20, 2019

This week's CST Friendship Group centred around dance, because 'Strictly Come Dancing' had just visited Blackpool in it's ninth week on BBC1.

We started our session with introductions and some questions about the show, including who was watching it every week, wh...

November 13, 2019

"I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be."

'The Greatest Love Of All', Whitney H...

November 12, 2019

"In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND!"

November 13th is 'World Kindness Day', so we started by looking at this video suggesting ways in which we can be kind towards each other. 

We asked, how will we be kind tomorrow?



November 11, 2019

Jay Coakley, Therapy Technician

Cardiff And Vale Young Onset Dementia Service 

11th November 2019

Apps for CST groups or stimulating 1:1 activity

Here I will detail some popular apps that have been tried and tested on a 1:1 basis and in CST groups. All of the apps are free...

November 6, 2019

The theme for this week's 'Young Onset Dementia CST Friendship Group' was 'Remembrance Sunday', which has it's 101st anniversary on November 10th this year.

(Click on the above image to link to a slides show for printing out for the tables.)


Our discussi...

November 5, 2019

It’s November again. The month of Bonfire Night - November 5th,  Remembrance Sunday - November 10th, Thanksgiving - November 28th & Black Friday - November 29th. 

November is also the month where awareness is raised for men’s health, especially prostate  and t...

November 4, 2019

My friend and colleague Jay Coakley, Therapy Technician, devised a CST session based on identifying fragrances and reminiscence. It was very well received in our ‘Cariad Dementia Cafe’ a couple of weeks ago.

What Jay did was to identify a series of everyday and some unu...

November 3, 2019

With the 5th November fast approaching, we chose 'Bonfire Night' as our theme for this week's 'CST Friendship Group' session.


We read this factsheet from BBC Radio 4, by way of introduction to our session proper.

"It’s that ti...

October 30, 2019

This week's theme for our 'Friendship Group' was 'Halloween', as 31st October is fast approaching us.
We started the session, as usual, with introductions and each of us saying if we went to a Halloween Fancy Dress Party what costumes would we wear. 

We went on to...

October 29, 2019

We recently started 'Cariad Dementia Cafe', for young onset clients, supporters, friends and families in Cardiff and Vale. It is a cognitive stimulation therapy based session, with a multi-sensory quiz based activity, a physical exercise session and a news and music ro...

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