IDEA Interventions for Dementia

Our interventions for dementia are intended to try to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their families.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)

Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) is a group based, psychosocial treatment for dementia. The core treatment is a structured, manualised programme of 14 twice weekly sessions, with an option in continue treatment in the longer term. CST involves group activities designed to interest and engage older people and utilise different abilities and senses, in order to improve cognition. In controlled trials in the UK, CST has demonstrated improvements in quality of life and cognition (memory and thinking) similar to those achieved by dementia medications. We know that CST is effective. In many parts of Africa, medications for dementia are simply not available and even if they were, there are no specialist healthcare professionals to prescribe them. CST can be delivered by non-specialist healthcare workers, and even laypersons after training. We believe that CST is an ideal intervention to help people with dementia in low-resource environments and that it is the best option for rolling out treatment for dementia across Africa.

You will find a link to our CST manual for Africa on the ‘Resources’ page. It is free to use, and we would like you to contact us if you wish to set up a CST group in another African country and need any help or advice.
CST was developed in the UK, and has been used in other countries worldwide. You will find a link to the CST website here.

We have recently completed a controlled trial of CST in Tanzania and Nigeria, and will upload a link to these results shortly. The trial protocol has been published online and can be accessed at:

Carers Educational Intervention

We feel that the most essential part of intervention for dementia is education of carers and family members about dementia. This can improve their quality of life, reduce care giver burden and improve mental health. Increasing understanding and awareness of the dementia will also reduce stigma associated with the condition. We have designed a carers intervention, intended to provide education, and also to lead on to creation of a support group for carers to support each other in the longer term. We feel that this is a sustainable approach to providing support in the longer term and it is intended to empower carers of people with dementia.

You will find a link to our carers educational intervention and support group manual on the ‘Resources’ page . This is also free to use.

Training programme for health care workers

We have developed a four day training course for health care workers on dementia and delirium. You will find a link to the training manual, presentations and handouts in the ‘Resources’ section.