About Us

Engaging Dementia is a registered charity that tackles dementia head on. We provide training and resources for those who care for people with dementia in residential care, day centres, hospitals or the family home. Our training services are primarily for the staff of nursing homes, day centres and hospitals. Our resources are suitable for both formal and informal carers. We are involved in a range of community-based initiatives focused on supporting communication and engagement for people with dementia.

Engagement is at the heart of what we do – we believe in and promote the value of engagement through communication, music, the senses, the creative arts and the outdoors.  Engaging Dementia continually explores new ways to support care centres to provide high quality dementia care, and to support family carers, in order to enhance quality of life for people living with dementia.

We were founded in 1990 by Sr Mary Threadgold RSC under the name Sonas apc. Sr Mary, a Speech and Language Therapist, developed a therapeutic activity for people, which she called the Sonas Programme. She established an organisation which she called Sonas apc to train people in the delivery of the Sonas Programme.

We were founded in 1990 by Sr Mary Threadgold RSC under the name Sonas apc. Sr Mary, a Speech and Language Therapist, developed a therapeutic activity for people, which she called the Sonas Programme. She established an organisation which she called Sonas apc to train people in the delivery of the Sonas Programme.

In 2018 we changed our name to Engaging Dementia. We continue to train care staff in Ireland in the Sonas Programme and there are now more than 800 certified Sonas Licensed Practitioners in Ireland, with an estimated 250 nursing homes delivering the programme for the benefit of their residents. Research has confirmed the benefits of the programme for people with dementia.

We offer a wide range of dementia training, all focused on communication, engagement and supporting person centred dementia care. We also provide consultancy services to nursing homes to support them to deliver individualised activities programmes to their residents and educate their staff teams on best quality dementia care. We work with TrinityHaus Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, and Newtown Saunders Ltd on dementia friendly garden projects.

As the Dementia Friendly Garden (DFG) Team, our three organisations provide a comprehensive consultancy service to nursing homes on the creation of dementia friendly outdoor spaces and have designed and built two award-winning dementia gardens at the Bloom Festival in 2017 and 2018. The first garden was moved to TLC Care Centre, Santry, after the festival, as TLC Care Centre had been the sponsor. The second dementia garden, entitled Moments in Time was sponsored by the national Dementia Understand Together Campaign. It was moved to Arklow, where it is open to the public.

Our other work includes running the biggest annual international dementia conference in Ireland, in partnership with the School of Nursing and Human Sciences in Dublin City University. We are also centrally involved in Alzheimer Cafes in Ireland.

We are committed to continuing to expand our range of services and supports in order to respond to the needs of people living with dementia and their carers.

Our mission

Our mission is to facilitate engagement and connection for people with dementia and their carers through education, resources and community activities.

Our vision

Our vision is of an Ireland where people with dementia and their carers are engaged and connected with family and community.

Mary Threadgold RSC, Creator of the Sonas Programme

Complaints

Do you have a complaint to lodge?

Click here to view our complaints policy.

Privacy Statement

Engaging Dementia treats the protection of personal data as a key priority and in doing so strives to adhere to best practice in this area. We do not share personal data with any third parties outside Engaging Dementia.

Our Privacy Statement is available here.

Hello!

And welcome to our new website. We are excited to announce that Sonas apc has changed its name to Engaging Dementia

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