The Sonas Programme

    The Sonas programme
    The Sonas® programme
         Ireland’s leading therapeutic activity
                 for people with dementia.

    The Sonas programme is an evidence-based, therapeutic activity for people who have dementia.

    The essential features of Sonas Group and Individual Sessions are:
    • Stimulation of all five senses
    • Focus on communication
    • Use of structure and repetition
    • Focus on retained abilities rather than deficits or disabilities
    • Creation of a warm, failure-free environment

    Structure and repetition

    The packaging of all of the features together into a repeated, structured session supports familiarity, a sense of safety and security for participants. These are important for a person whose world is becoming increasingly unfamiliar. A person might attend a Sonas Group Session every week for several months. They might remember it fully or they might only remember the feeling they get at the session.


    Threadgold Communication Tool (TCT)

    The Threadgold Communication Tool (TCT) is now a validated tool for measuring the communication abilities of people with moderate to severe dementia. The tool was formalised and validated as part of a major research project that examined the effectiveness of the Sonas programme. Read the full research article here.

    Sensory stimulation for people with dementia: Literature review

    This article provides an overview of the sensory stimulation interventions that are available for people with dementia, and a review of the research in this area. Read the full research article here.

    Effect of the Sonas Programme on communication in people with dementia: A Randomised Controlled Trial

    This research project explored the effect of the Sonas programme on the communication abilities of people with moderate to severe dementia. Read the full research article here.

    Impact of the Sonas Programme on Communication over a Period of 24 Weeks in People with Moderate-to-Severe Dementia

    This research examined how communication abilities changed over time among nursing home residents with moderate-to-severe dementia who were attending the Sonas programme and to explore whether changes in communication abilities were related to cognitive ability. Read the fullresearch article here

    The Sonas® programme is a therapeutic communication activity primarily for older people, which focuses on sensory stimulation, in the belief that the senses are the gateways to communication.”

    Sister Mary Theadgold, founder Sonas

    Sr Mary Threadgold RSC, who devised the Sonas® programme and founded Sonas apc to train people in its use.

    Noreen + Ann Chamberlain
    Sonas Training is a requirement for anyone who wishes to deliver the Sonas programme. This is so that people with dementia benefit from a consistent, high quality delivery of the programme
    More information on Sonas Training
    Sonas sessions are enjoyable group and individual activities involving stimulation of all five senses, quality engagement and relaxation.
    Enhanced wellbeing, improved mood and communication are just some of the benefits.
    Find a training course near you


    See a short video of a Sonas Group Session here

    Sonas apc is thankful to the participants for allowing us to share it with you.

    “One man who does no activities at all was brought to a Sonas session and he started dancing and singing. He was so energised. People who said they were lonely made friends within the Sonas group. I felt privileged to be part of this work.”

    Laura Hamilton, Activities Co-ordinator, Parke House Nursing Home.

    Training – a requirement for anyone delivering the Sonas programme
    There are now
    460+ Sonas Licensed Practitioners
    In 260+ care centres nationwide