• Simon O'Donovan

Some thoughts about competition

We have learned it is best not to keep scores and award prizes for best quiz scores, as it highlights worst cognitive performance also. Instead we applaud significant contributions, such as someone performing a solo of a song they know and love, or getting up to exhibit a dance or other skill they have held in their long term memory. A beautiful freehand drawing or painting is held up as a thing of beauty. A bread dough mixed and rolled well is commented on as being something the whole group will later enjoy. For quieter or less able clients we comment on the brightest smile or the prettiest dress, or we add in a fact we know about them to the conversation which will make them feel we really respect and value them and give them a sense of pride in that especial lifetime achievement. Of course, for non competitive games of chance such as Bingo or Jenga then prizes to hand out and share are a great treat for the whole group.

About Me

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

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


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested 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. 


The main aim of this website is to share 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.


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