News and Updates

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August 2023 Newsletter
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Sonas Founder Sr. Mary Threadgold has written a new booklet called ““Lift Up Their Hearts – Visiting Older People”.

Here she describes the inspiration behind it in her own words:

“As a teenager in the 1950s I must have been unconsciously influenced by a family member who regularly visited older people in long stay hospitals and care homes. I remember joining that volunteer on two occasions and these visits must have sown the seed for what became the Sonas Programme in 1990. Thirty three years later, Sonas is still offered by Engaging Dementia as one of its training courses.
Those visits also became the seed for the recently published booklet “Lift Up Their Hearts – Visiting Older People”. This is a practical booklet which I wrote for the benefit of those committed to visiting older people on a regular basis, either in nursing homes or their own homes, whether they are family, friends or volunteers. The main part of the booklet is focused on companionship and befriending in the general population while the final section is relevant to those with an interest in spirituality and religious practice.
The booklet acts as a guide and resource to the visitor to help make visits more meaningful, enjoyable and uplifting for all concerned, including those who are living with dementia or approaching the end of life.

(Lift Up Their Hearts is available in our online shop for €6.95 –  Click Here)

Our CEO Kim Tully was interviewed on the Saturday Brunch Show on Dublin City FM.

Kim discusses the Skerries Forget Me Not Café, and how Engaging Dementia supports those living with dementia through training, events, and community projects.

Listen here:

Forget Me Not Café is held on the second Wednesday of each month at 11am. Location: Skerries Harps GAA, Dublin Road, Skerries K34 HC89 

For more information on this and other cafes for those living with dementia and their family and supporters,  around Ireland visit:

Click the link above to listen to an engaging and entertaining interview between the hosts of Phoenix FM and Sr. Mary Threadgold and Engaging Dementia CEO Kim Tully. 

Dementia Inclusive Community Garden Project: the perfect solution for your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

Engaging Dementia is looking for partners within local communities in Ireland for the Dementia Inclusive Community Garden Project.

If your organisation is looking for new sustainable solutions for its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, while looking to have a strong social impact, this is definitely a project you should consider.

We want to turn existing or new gardens into green spaces that people living with dementia as well as the general public will be able to enjoy and/or garden themselves.

Dementia inclusive gardens will be designed in line with dementia-inclusive principles and universal design, and will provide an accessible and therapeutic space as a focal point within the local community.   

Benefits for the community:

  • Create new or renewed green spaces for the local community to enjoy
  • Spread awareness about dementia inclusion within the local community
  • Create a place where people living with dementia can have regular access to fresh air and exercise while engaging with other people. They will be able to carry out activities which provide gentle sensory and cognitive stimulation, reduce stress and improve orientation to time and place
  • Help people live well with dementia and play an active and valuable role in their community, in a safe and supported environment
  • Create a place where people living in the local community can interact with people living with dementia and dismantle any negative or derogatory stigmas around dementia.

Benefits for your organisation:

  • Support social inclusion strategies
  • Contribute to making your community a sustainable one through the creation and improvement of green spaces
  • Create team building and volunteering opportunities for your staff, by encouraging them to participate in gardening activities and to engage with people living with dementia
  • Create opportunities to build trust in your brand at local and national level
  • Invest in a project which in a relatively short period of time will improve the quality of life of those living and working in the local community

If your company wants to know more about the Dementia Inclusive Community Garden Project contact us at 

To celebrate 30 years of supporting those living with dementia and their carers we created this very special video shown below:

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