Last week was a difficult week as we collectively tried to come to terms with the impact of Corona virus and social distancing on our families, our lives and our work. It was hard to get your head around the life altering actions that we have to take to protect ourselves and the lives of the wider community.
One of the things we in Talking Mats felt we could do was help people with communication difficulties understand what they could and could not do. We developed an easy read resource based on the World Health Organisation recommendations and their traffic light system. It seems to have struck a chord. The response has been amazing with lots of sharing on various social media platforms, currently approaching a reach of 40,000 on Facebook plus more on Twitter, and comments like
‘My 85-year-old mother was not getting it. This has really helped me to have the conversation with her’
‘This is fantastic and not just for people with communication difficulties. Processing and making sense is hard for us all at the moment ‘
‘This will help a lot of very anxious children at the moment
However, things are changing fast and since we made this Easy Read resource on Thursday 19th March, restrictions have tightened so here we made Version 2 on Monday then the Government brought in further restrictions that evening so we developed version 3 20200324 coronvirus easy read v3_. We are hoping that everyone complies and we do not need to do a further update .
We are being advised that the language of social distancing is shifting to physical distancing. It is important for mental health and well-being that we stay connected – just not physically connected. Thank goodness for telephones and the digital age.
Stay safe all
Many thanks to Professor Anna Dunér, Dr Angela Bångsbo and Associate Professor Tina Olsson for this guest blog describing their research project where Talking Mats will be used to enable service users living with dementia to be involved in decisions about their home care services. The project is based on a collaboration between Department of Social Work at the University of Gothenburg, Borås University College and the municipality of Borås, aiming to develop and evaluate the use of Talking Mats.
Associate Prof. Tina Olsson
In Sweden, as in many other developed countries, ideas of consumer choice and personalisation of services have been implemented in social care with the intention of achieving better choice and control as well as increased quality of the services provided for the individual. However, persons living with dementia are at risk of being excluded from the opportunities provided to other groups of service users. Thus, it is important to develop both needs-assessment procedures, and improve the performance of home care services, to enable older people living with dementia continuous choice and control in their everyday living.
We hope that Talking Mats will improve the communication between service users, care managers and staff in eldercare and lead to increased influence of service users over the decisions and planning of their home care services.
During 2020 we have funding for a planning study where we can develop and test the Talking Mats decision aid, identify, translate and test outcome measurements, and refine and test the procedures for a comparative intervention project. In 2021 we hope to attain funding for a three year study.
We have already received valuable advice and information about Talking Mats research from Dr Joan Murphy and hope to keep in contact with her and the Talking Mats team throughout our project.
If you are interested in Talking Mats Research, check out our recent blog with details of how you can get involved with our Virtual Network:
Thanks to all the people who have expressed an interest in the Talking Mats research group . We are excited to see the range of research going on and how people are using Talking Mats as a research tool in a variety of settings e.g. universities, NHS, not for profit organisations, youth justice – and with such a wide range of client groups e.g. dementia , alternative and augmentative communication , children and young people, people with learning disabilities, and palliative care.
This is a virtual network and we are still exploring ways in which this could work, but it could involve an email network, virtual seminars and/or twitter chats.
If you are interested in being included, and have completed our Talking Mats Foundation Training course, we would love to hear from you.
The network will be coordinated by Dr Joan Murphy, Founding Director of Talking Mats, and Dr Jill Bradshaw (Tizard Centre, University of Kent) who was appointed as our Honorary Associate in November 2019 https://www.talkingmats.com/honorary-research-associate/
If interested please complete and send the following form to email@example.com: