New programme to help older people with mental health needs

Staff Nurse Linda Allcock gives a hand massage to a patient at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH)
Staff Nurse Linda Allcock gives a hand massage to a patient at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH)
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Staff who care for older people with mental health needs have introduced a new therapeutic programme to improve communication.

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) is the first NHS trust in the north of England to train its staff in the use of the SONASTM programme.

SONASTM incorporates cognitive, social and emotional stimulation, and brings about a sense of familiarity and security.

Delivered through group and individual sessions, the programme is designed for older people who have significant cognitive impairment or communication difficulties, primarily those who have dementia. It is also suitable for those with advanced Parkinson’s and some types of stroke.

Jennie Watson, RDaSH Senior Occupational Therapist, said: “People with dementia and older people with other mental health problems benefit greatly from engagement and involvement in creative and sensory activities. This can reduce the risk of becoming isolated, distressed and withdrawn as their needs increase.”

To find out more about SONAS go to:

http://www.sonasapc.com/sonas-training/the-sonas-programme.html