Psychosocial therapies for improving and maintaining cognitive functioning should be offered to those living with with mild-to-moderate dementia.

Therapy can help you learn skills and strategies to make the most of your memory in terms of your current problems, or ways to help strengthen your thinking and memory. These approaches make the most of your skills and mental functions through exercises and activities.

These therapies may be based on art or music, or a course of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy. There should be a range of therapies so that you can choose which is most suitable for you.

National offerings

Arts 4 Dementia

Art 4 Dementia is a charity with a website has resources, training, art programmes that are dementia friendly and much more. Their aim is to help preserve a fulfilling active life for longer for the person living with dementia.

MSNAP Memory Assessment Service Standards

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have a national accreditation programme for Memory Services against key standards. The website outlines the standards and the process.

NICE Dementia Guidance

This guideline brings together all the research and evidence which covers assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support. It is for people at risk of developing dementia, people who are referred for assessment, people living with dementia as well as being for family and friends and health and social care staff and commissioners. It aims to improve care by making recommendations on standards people should expect to receive from their assessment, care and support as well as on training.
We have provided links to the NICE guideline for dementia and a further link is provided to guidance on how to delay or prevent the onset of dementia.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) NG16 (2015) Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onset:
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (2019) Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers:


Healthwatch is your health and social care champion. If you use GPs and hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, care homes or other support services, we want to hear about your experiences. As an independent statutory body, we have the power to make sure NHS leaders and other decision makers listen to your feedback and improve standards of care. Last year we helped nearly a million people like you to have your say and get the information and advice you need.
Telephone: Call: 03000 683 000 between the hours of 08:30 – 17:30 Monday to Friday

Intergenerational Music Making (IMM)

IMM (Intergenerational Music Making) is a national not-for-profit organisation which delivers programmes, training, and campaigning & research to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the old and the young in communities across the UK, through the power of music.

We work closely with care homes, schools, hospitals, and musicians and creatives, sharing our expertise to deliver and embed a culture of intergenerational practice.

Intergenerational music is all encompassing working with individuals and groups across our communities focussing on bridging the gaps between generations, supporting those living with dementia and their carers. Our work aims to tackle health inequalities and create new spaces where voices can be heard. acknowledged and celebrated. Through music making, song writing, choral singing, art, movement and so much more, we work to provide spaces for people to share their stories, make new connections and adopt creative, accessible ways to support health and wellbeing.


Email: or

Dementia Diaries

Dementia Diaries gives a voice to people with dementia through more than three thousand audio and video diaries.

Why am I a Dementia Diarist?

Agnes Houston

"I'm Agnes...

and I share my Dementia Diary because I can share my happy, sad moments and I’m a part of something wonderful and I call them my pals.”

Tommy Dunne, Dementia Diaries

"I'm Tommy...

the only way you can truly learn to know what it’s like to live with dementia is to listen and learn from my peers who are here everyday living with it.”

Lorraine Brown, Dementia Diaries

"I’m Lorraine...

what inspires me to make Dementia Diaries is to record the passion and emotions of the moment.”

We bring together the many different experiences of living with dementia.

Diarists want to change the way people think about dementia, and about people with dementia.

We hope that the diaries inspire and inform people affected by dementia, and their wider communities and organisations.

Diaries can be used publicly in awareness raising and by researchers looking for insight into the lived experience of dementia.

How does the project work?

Diarists record diaries in a number of ways. Some record their diaries over the 'phone. Others send in audio or video they have recorded themselves. Our team of volunteers then transcribe the diaries, so you can read as well.

We then publish the diaries here.

Listen to some diary entries

Meet our diarists

Interested in becoming a diarist?

Dementia Friendly place of worship

Making your place of worship dementia friendly - Mosque
Making your place of worship dementia friendly - Temple
This leaflet is also available in alternative formats and additional languages.
Please email: or call 0161 213 1750 for more information.
Small changes that make a big difference It’s really important to make your place of worship dementia friendly and to continue to use mosques and temples.
Lighting;  improved lighting can help to prevent dark areas and shadows forming on the floor which can be confusing for someone living with dementia. Flooring;  different colours can represent something different for someone living with dementia, e.g. dark carpets or rugs can look like an object that needs to be stepped over, it may look like a hole in the floor. Blue carpets/tiles may look like water and green carpet/tiles may look like grass. Use different coloured flooring/tiling to the colouring on the walls. Wall paper/wall coverings; try not to use stripes or strong patterns. Electrical Appliances; trailing cables or wires can cause confusion and fear for someone living with dementia e.g. these wires can appear like a snake. Furniture/furnishing – living with dementia can cause confusion particularly when trying to remember where things are kept. Use pictures and labels on cupboards so people can find items easily. Mirrors – someone living with dementia may find looking in a mirror quite distressing as they may not recognise their own reflection.  Limit the number of mirrors or where possible remove mirrors


Royal College of Psychiatrists (2018) MSNAP Standards for Memory Services: MSNAP guidance on this topic is as follows:
  • Psychosocial interventions and post-diagnostic support are available regardless of dementia subtype and age.
  • People living with dementia have access to a local programme of appropriate group Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST).
  • Patients have access to cognitive rehabilitation according to their clinical needs.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation constitutes an individualised approach where personally relevant goals are identified and the therapist works with the patient and his/her family to devise strategies to address these. The emphasis is on improving performance in everyday life rather than on cognitive tests, building on the patient’s strengths and developing ways of compensating for impairments.

NICE (2018) NG97: Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers

  • Interventions to promote cognition, independence and wellbeing
  • Offer a range of activities to promote wellbein that are tailored to the person's preferences.
  • Offer group cognitive stimulation therapy for people living with mild to moderate dementia.
  • Consider group reminiscence therapy for people living with mild to moderate dementia.
  • Consider cognitive rehabilitation or occupational therapy to support functional ability in people living with mild to moderate dementia.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST): summary of evidence on cost-effectiveness:

Best Practice Resources

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