Category Archives: Digital Talking Mats

Self-manage by using Digital Talking Mats


We are now half way through our project, funded by The Health and Social Care ALLIANCE Scotland, whose overall aim is to empower people with a range of long term conditions, with and without additional communication difficulties, to self-manage their own health and well-being by using Digital Talking Mats.

Participants

particiapnts
We have carried out all the initial visits and 16 follow-up visits and participants are sending in their completed mats, choosing whichever topics they want from the digital Health and Well-being resource. At the time of writing this blog we have received 137 completed mats.

We have received very positive feedback with many examples of how people are using the Digital Talking Mats to self-manage.

Here are 3 examples:

One participant with learning disability has diabetes. Through using the Digital Talking Mats she has stopped buying takeaways every night and is now buying M&S ‘Balanced for You’ meals. This is a huge step forward for her as she refused to discuss healthier eating before.

LD Self care

A man with early onset dementia has identified that he used to enjoy singing and has decided for the first time in his life to join a choir. This is not something that had come up in conversation before. Despite the diagnosis of dementia he has realised that he is still keen to try new things.

 

Demntia Leisure

 

The wife of a man with severe aphasia said ‘This (Leisure away) has highlighted how few things he can do away from home. We discussed this but can’t see how we can change the situation.’ However at the second visit he used the same mat and indicated that he had been thinking about his mobility and was about to start swimming and a fitness class.

Stroke Leisure
We already have an increased awareness of the meaning of self-management as we observe how participants are using the Digital Talking Mats to think about their situation, state their own views and share them with carers/support workers. We are also noticing that there is a shift in some relationships as the carers/support workers realise that the person with the long term conditions can make decisions and express their own views rather than having decisions made for them.

Happy Christmas from Talking Mats

matty-with-santa-hat

Talking Mat would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas

2106 has certainly been a busy year for us at Talking Mats. We have seen some staff changes saying goodbye to Jill hall and welcoming Morag Crawford. We were delighted when we brought Kirsty  onto our staff . Kirsty originally volunteered with us as part of a school transition programme for people with autism. Laura Holmes joined us as a Talking Mats external associate for the North West of England.

If you are interested in what we do and want to see our activity in numbers then have a look at the Talking Mats Year in numbers . Click on image to see the enlarge ! talking-mats-year-in-numbers-2015-2016

 

 

At the moment we are busy preparing for 2017 and we are looking forward to

  1. The evaluation of our following projects in The New Year

2 Continuing to work with

3 Launching more resources

  • Keeping Safe- so far this resource has only been available to people working with people with learning disability in Scotland. We will be holding a specialist seminar about this resource in London on the 17th March so its use can extend south of the border .
  • Launching our conversation sets: gardens, holidays, trips out, sports indoor, sports outdoor and football.  These were developed as part of the family training for people with dementia but they have much wider use and will be available  as additional  Talking mats sets

Plus Talking Mat is planning to go to Australia in May!

australi-and-new-zealand

Nicki and Lois have their flights booked. Agosci here we come ! Then we are over to New Zealand to run foundation training in Christchurch and Auckland before we head back to Melbourne to run the first ever accredited training course in Australia. We will also be running a specialist seminar on Keeping Safe in Melbourne. If you want any details about the trip please get in touch.

We really appreciate all the support we get from everyone involved in Talking Mats and wish you all a happy and peaceful festive season

Adding your own images to the Digital Talking Mats

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We have received a number of requests to create a guide to adding your own images and creating submats with Digital Talking Mats and this blog will show you how.

One of the features of Talking Mats is that we have developed a number of different symbol resources based on our research and clinical practice which cover a wide range of topics.
However, sometimes you may want to personalise what is being communicated about by adding your own images. You may also want to create a submat to explore an existing topic in more detail or you may want to create a completely new topic. In our training courses we explain how to do this when using the original Talking Mats.

However more and more people are now using the digital version of Talking Mats. In a previous blog we described how to add your own photos to the Digital Talking Mats.

We have now made a guide to help those who have the digital version to both add their own images and to create a submat with an example of a sub-mat with the topic “office”.

Download the following pdf to find out how to do it. dtm-a-guide-how-to-add-photos

We would love to hear any stories about making your own digital submats

Work with adults ? Top 10 Talking Mats blogs

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What are the top 10 blogs for using Talking Mats with adults? Over the years we have posted lots of blogs on different aspects of our framework . If you are working with adults with communication disability these blogs maybe particularly helpful

  1. Where is the best place to start using the Talking Mats health and well-being resource? 
  2. A blog from Denmark which highlights the effectiveness of using Talking Mats with people with dementia
  3. Goal setting with a woman with Multiple sclerosis  
  4. Using the  app with someone with aphasia 
  5. The development of a resource to help people with learning disability raise concerns 
  6. How can Talking Mats support Capacity to make decisions
  7.  Involving  people in their decisions about eating and drinking 
  8. Thoughts on using Talking Mats with people with dementia to explore mealtimes 
  9. Using Talking Mats with someone with a learning disability and dementia
  10. Use  in a rehab setting in South Africa 

If you want to explore our  resource and training more  please visit our shop

Talking Mats team chat about Christmas

Christmas

Fika (coffee time)  in the Talking Mats office is always interesting.  Recently we got chatting about Christmas preparations and who had the longest ‘to do’ list.  There was a definite variation in enthusiasm for all things Christmas.  We needed to do a Talking Mat! This was done on our digital Talking Mats – it’s  easy to import your own images now and make a digital Talking Mat about any topic.

Eating , drinking and games and puzzles got the thumbs up!   (Lois is the games queen and was the most enthusiastic about that).

Holiday, partying and entertaining got consensus.

Extended family coming to stay? This moved around a bit, but was generally positive (say no more!)

Shopping was in the mid section-we all agreed.  Perhaps by now it would be less positive with last minute mayhem.

Gifts was added as a blank (how could the interviewer forget that) and not everyone was comfortable about the commercialisation of Christmas.

‘How do you feel about Juggling demands?’   We all agreed -not sure.  Again remember, Talking Mats is how a person feels at a certain point in time.  Ask us again on Christmas Eve?!

Christmas cleaningAll agreed was a chore and some thought best not to get too bothered about it

Talking Mats supports a group conversation.  We all got our say

 

Merry Christmas one and all