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.


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2018 Simon O'Donovan. Proudly created with Wix.com  2019

Top 3 CST Well-being Songs

July 30, 2019



Music is at the heart of our 'Young Dementia CST Friendship Group'. Musical memory is often better preserved than recent memory, language or functional ability. Hence if a person with moderate dementia can recognise and sing (or dance) along with a well known song it can be such an uplifting experience.


I thought it might be interesting and useful to let you know which of our songs had the best reaction from our members this week, in terms of visible impact on well-being. A 'Top 3', so to speak, for you to try out yourselves with clients.


Maybe in future months we can consolidate these posts into a Top 40, with the help of your feedback?



Number 1. 'So Long Farewell' from 'The Sound Of Music'. We played this as a colleague was retiring and came to say goodbye to the group. It really connected with members she had supported and we sang and clapped along. Quite a few tears were shed. https://t.co/5NkRzRwyNV



Number 2. 'Sail Away' by Enya. One of our members said "Oh I love this" and got up and danced along to the whole track. Others smiled and encouraged him with applause. https://t.co/xQx5csvcC5



Number 3. 'Beautiful Briney Sea'. One of our members has a very labile mood and responded with great joy to this song. She liked the film and remembered Angela Lansbury starring as Jessica Fletcher in 'Murder She Wrote'. https://t.co/ckwH5e1Jp7


NB. YouTube links are provided.



Please let me know if this is helpful addition to the weekly blog update and if you wish to see the 'Top 3 CST Songs For Well-being' continue each week .... Keep up your good work. Over and out. 🤓🎧💡







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