The Premium Extended Weekly iCST Dementia Visual Calendar Board is manufactured with a strong lightweight base and is robust and weather resistant. The surface of the board is a dry wipe laminate that enables you to write and wipe time and time again. Only dry wipe pens and cleaning sprays should be used.
- Dry Wipe
- White Design
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Size approx. 72 cm x 35 cm
- Includes 10 x A8 Gecko pockets
- Includes 1 x A6 Gecko pocket
- Includes Gecko “Today” sticker to help identify the current day
How to use
The key principles of iCST are:
- Mental Stimulation
- Developing new ideas, thoughts and associations
- Using orientation in a sensitive manner
- Focusing on opinions, rather than facts
- Using reminiscence as an aid to the here and now
- Providing triggers to support memory
- Stimulate language and communication
- Stimulate everyday planning ability
- Using a “person-centred” approach
- Offering a choice of activities
- Enjoyment and fun
- Maximising potential
- Strengthening the relationship by spending quality time together
The board has three purposes:
- To serve as an aid to carers to remind them of things that are important to the person living with dementia in terms of how they like to be supported and things that are of interest.
- To provide a clear view of what is happening each day in a way that the person living with dementia will, hopefully, trust.
- To provide a focus for structured conversation and a prompt for iCST.
- Orientation e.g. Year Season Month Day Country Town Address
- News, current affairs and activities
- Topics for mental stimulation
What’s important to me
This column should contain those things that are important to the person such as talking quietly, not being very quick, cooking, sports, etc. This information is a reference for how the person would like to be supported and to ensure that the daily conversations and activities reflect what’s important.
Calendar / Daily Activities
Keep the board up to date with this week’s activities. If it would be helpful, place the Today sticker over the relevant day to help the person to place today in the week. Use the first two rows for details of what’s happening using words and pictures. Pictures, such as photographs of visitors, can be mounted in the panels using Gecko self-cling pockets. Note: some people find pictures more useful than words whilst others find pictures hard to recognise. The third row can be used to highlight activities and conversations that have been particularly positive. These notes inform further conversations, prolonging or repeating the benefit.
The aim of the Let’s talk panel is to place pictures or write words that will stimulate conversation. Thirty minutes of structured conversation, three times per week, for twenty-five weeks will benefit a person living with mild to moderate dementia and could extend the time that they can continue to live independent lives
The structure of the conversation is five minutes orientation; five minutes news, current affairs and activities; twenty minutes discussion. The brain can be thought of as a muscle and benefits from being exercised. This means that the person should be encouraged to discuss, express opinions, compare and contrast and not simply to reminisce over the same subjects repeatedly.
Encourage the person to be aware of the time of year and date and where they are in terms of geography. Carers should be aware of the level of ability of the person and be challenging without being discouraging. Avoid direct questions such as what is the date and ask more open questions about the seasons or events that aim to lead the person to the day / date.
Orientation prompts are; Season, Weather, Year, Month, Date, Day, Country, Town, Road, House, Postcode.
Discuss topic in the news and compare them with how things have changed, what politicians could do, how things vary between countries and cultures. Encourage the person to express opinions without correcting or challenging. Discuss what the person did or will do during week. Use the information on the calendar section of the board to discuss visits and activities that were highlighted as positive.
Discuss a wide range of topics remembering to use Discussion, Reminiscence, Comparison, Categories, Old/New, Inspirations, Likes/Dislikes, Feelings, Opinions.
Suggested topics include Food, Sounds, Household Treasures, Art, Music, Objects, Slogans, Logos, Games, Faces, Money, Childhood, Sounds.
We suggest that you print pictures or collect objects and place them on the board, using the board as a focus for the discussion. The reason to do this generate an attachment between the person living with dementia and the board which will, hopefully, then lead the person to trust the board in respect of the calendar. This will, in turn, generate a level of trust in the activities each day and reduce anxiety.
Both the person and their carer(s) should enjoy the sessions. If not, then change the location, time or topics. Have a drink and biscuit to make the experience more relaxed.
For information about Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) visit www.ucl.ac.uk/icst and www.cstdementia.com.
For a training manual and resources on how to do iCST we recommend visiting www.careinfo.org/books and buying Making a difference 3 : Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy : A manual for carers, Vol 3. This manual explains how to organise and do the sessions and includes 75 session subjects and resources.