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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August 26, 2017



At the end of each of our Friendship Groups, we have a fifteen minute Relaxation or Mindfulness session. This gives us all the opportunity to finish the four hour session feeling calm and refreshed. Members have come to expect this session and miss it if we don't make the time to include it. 


There are many relaxation and mindfulness scripts on the internet to choose from, but we've prepared a couple of our own. Below is one of them. Feel free to use it.


Sometimes we have a bit of extra time and we play some relaxation music. Here's a Spotify Playlist to choose from https://open.spotify.com/user/1154769589/playlist/0tJrTIRyHhLVUMomq1I6Ib


Occasionally we use Apps on our iPad to lead the session. Again there are many apps to choose from. Deep Relaxation With Andrew Johnson is great http://www.withAndrewJohnson.com/

The Mindfulness App is another. www.themindfulnessapp.com



Brief Mindfulness Exercise


Start with Tibetan chimes


Sit comfortably in an armchair.
Place your hands in your lap, palms up.
Put your feet firmly on the floor, so you feel grounded.
Close your eyes. 
Take a few deep breaths and enjoy this time, this space which is a few minutes just for you to relax, to reflect and just be you in this present moment. 
Here and now.
Breathe in... and out.
Focus on the sounds you can hear. Just take them in and let them fade into the background.
Breathe in... and out.
Now focus on the things you can feel. The floor under your feet, the chair you are sat in, the air in the palms of your hands. 
Breathe in... and out.
Now pay attention to your mind. Where is it at? What are you thinking about? Let any worries or concerns drift away for now. This is your time, your space.
Next focus on your breathing. 
Breathe in... and out.
Feel the cold air enter your nostrils, the warm air exit your mouth. 
Slow your breathing a little. In... and out.
Breathe in... and out.
You may have aches and pains. 
Again, try and let these fade into the distance for now. This is your time, your space.
Breathe in... and out.
Now place yourself in one of your favourite places for a few minutes. 
It could be a deserted beach, an empty hillside, a quiet garden.
Breathe in... and out.
Imagine the sound of gently rolling waves, the warm breeze in the trees or a babbling brook.
Breathe in... and out.
You have been at your most content here in the past. Now you have come back to visit and feel that warmth and contentment again.
Breathe in... and out.
Take a few deep breaths while you listen, while you feel and while you are present in this moment of calm reflection.
Breathe in... and out.
While we are relaxed our minds are more open to suggestion.
So there are some important things I want to tell you.
Breathe in... and out.
You are a unique individual. Be proud of who you are. You are the best version of yourself that you can be at this time.
Breathe in... and out.
You can gain strength from moments like this to better cope with life and the challenges it brings. Be as positive and optimistic for your tomorrow as you feel now, today.
Breathe in... and out.
You feel calmer and more focused spending some quality time like this for your inner self. After this session you will feel refreshed and uplifted. 
Breathe in... and out.
You will be kinder to yourself and those who care about you by letting go of some of those negative emotions which trouble us all from time to time. 
Breathe in... and out.
Now spend a few moments imagining yourself just being in your favourite place, not thinking just relaxing.
Breathe in... and out.
Notice again the smells, sounds and images being here in your imagination conjures up.
Breathe in... and out.
Let happy thoughts and memories wash over you and fill you with contentment. 
Breathe in... and out.
When you are ready...
Say goodbye to your special place, for now.
Breathe in... and out.
Don't worry you can visit again soon, in your imagination.
Take a few deep breaths and come back to present reality when you are ready.
Open your eyes and smile.
Look around you.
Shake your arms and legs a little.

You have enjoyed a brief mindfulness session aimed at enhancing your well being.

At the end of our sessions we chime Tibetan bells and say the word 'Namaste' to each other and slightly bow our heads in respect.

We say the words,
"My soul honours your soul.
I honour the place in you where
The entire universe resides.
I honour the light, love, truth,
Beauty and peace within you.
Because it is also in me.
In sharing these things, we are united.
We are the same, we are one."



End with Tibetan chimes












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