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Time to Think

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Justine Schneider
Call for comments on Cognitive Stimulation TV Pilot

This film has been made by Andy Taylor Smith for a team at the University of Nottingham, including Professor Martin Orrell, Dr. Lauren Yates, Dr. Amy Streater and Professor Justine Schneider. The film features George and Laurie, two men who are living with dementia.

Cognitive Stimulation TV pilot

I watched the video with my husband who has fronto temperal dementia.  It provides a number of opportunities to think about sounds and to discuss different subjects.  The interaction between George and Laurie was engaging and drew us into even the more straightforward examples.

The experience would be even better if;

- thought could be given to a mix of age, gender, ethnicity (many cultures are already less likely to access dementia groups - this could be a vehicle for reaching all parts of the community)

- the timing of the "ping" indicating a place to pause the video could be reviewed.  Even with both of us working together it was tricky to know when to pause the video to give my husband  "time to think" and come up with his own ideas.  For example, it would have been good to pause between hearing the sound of an ice-cream van and seeing a picture of an ice-cream (with possibly another opportunity to pause after seeing the visual prompt).  My husband is currently able to identify sounds without the need for additional info.  The visual prompts made it so obvious that he didn't really need to think and so he began to disengage. 

- could the pause/ play button be visible all the time?  The tool bar disappeared after a few seconds and so to pause we had to first get the tool bar up and then pause - losing the moment.

I'm not sure someone viewing this on their own would derive the same level of benefit as they would if they were part of a group - despite the wonderful interaction between Laurie and George.  However, I could see this being used by carers to provide the framework for a discussion or even with small groups where a facilitator could more actively draw people into a conversation.

Hope this is helpful.


Justine Schneider
Your comments

Thanks very much for taking the time to view this video and comment on it, Elaine. With respect to the irritating ping, I accidentally uploaded the wrong version and a pingless version has now replaced the one that you viewed.  I think the point you make about the viewer being able to control the progress of the programme is important, and it would be a key point to preserve in presentations of the film on other platforms. Cultural diversity is another aspect that we'd need to bear in mind in making further episodes.  I agree that the CSTV is likely to be more useful as a tool for carers than as a tool for a person to use on their own. Very grateful to you!

Time to Think

Thank you. I enjoyed watching this. The presenters did well and George and Laurie were stars. This is labelled as a pilot so I assume that more is to follow. Obviously we'd need to have other people and it'd be good to have some real carers as well as people living with dementia.

I thought the pace at which the activities were presented was probably about right. Shorter would be taxing but too long would get boring. Of course there is the option to pause but I guess most people won't use it - unless as Elaine says the option is made more obvious.

The episode length was about right for my attention span. It'll be interesting to see what people with dementia and families think.

I wondered if the donkey photo should be on a beach as otherwise it doesn't look very seasidey.

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Time to Think is a pilot film showing how cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) could be adapted to an audiovisual platform.  This could include television, pay to view TV, or the Internet.  The film (23 minutes) has been made to demonstrate the different activities that people do when they are involved in an interactive CST session.  Click on VIEW RESOURCE to watch it.

We are looking for feedback on this pilot from anyone who is interested in the needs of people with dementia.  Research has shown that CST in small groups can be cost effective.  However, some people cannot attend them due to mobility problems, and most memory groups are time limited.  

While you view the film, bear in mind that it was made with limited resources and without professional TV presenters. Leaving aside these limitations, please consider the following questions:

  • Is this a show that people I know with dementia could access with appropriate support? 
  • Is there material here that could engage a person with mild to moderate dementia? 
  • What are the elements that you think are attractive/good/engaging?
  • What are the factors that could be improved? 

When you have viewed the film you may make comments online using this form.  If this is not convenient for any reason, please feel free to email your comments to me.   Justine.Schneider@nottingham.ac.uk