Young people who have difficulty talking to older relatives or friends with dementia can now be helped by a smartphone app called Ticket-to-Talk designed by researchers at Newcastle University.
"An estimated 800,000 people in the UK have dementia and many of them come into regular contact with young people at home or in care homes,” says Dr Tony Young, Reader in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Newcastle University. He led the project in collaboration with the regional charity Youth Focus North-East. “We hope that this new tool will give young people more confidence and pave the way to easier and more enjoyable communication with their loved ones or people they care for.”
Using the new app Ticket to Talk, which is available free to download on Android and IOS devices, young people are first asked to create a profile of themselves and the person they would like to converse with.
The next step is to collect digital material in the form of sounds, pictures and videos relevant to a particular period in their family member’s life. These so-called ‘Tickets’ can then be collated into a customized playlist of prompts.
Items such as photos of old cars or pets and clips from favourite films and YouTube videos can then be used to start and guide conversations and stimulate reminiscences.
“Research suggests young people often find initiating and leading conversations with older relatives with dementia particularly difficult,” says Dr Young, who works in the University's School of Education, Communications and Language Sciences.
The project was developed after a series of six workshops as part of the DemYouth project in which researchers at Newcastle University have been working with young people with personal experiences of dementia.
For the full article please visit the Newcastle University website.
Published on 21 December 2017