Talking Mats in Residential Care

Talking Mats is an evidence-based framework that can help ensure that people with communication disability are at the centre of planning and involved in decisions about their residential care.
We know that the Care Inspectorate often reports favourably when they see Talking Mats being used as this is evidence of good practice in involving service users in participation and planning.

Ways to use Talking Mats in residential care settings

  • Ensuring that people who struggle with communication disability or cognitive problems can express their views
  • Helping staff get to know the residents they are caring for quickly
  • As a tool just for a chat
  • Helping people to remain involved in planning their care
  • Evidencing residents’ involvement
  • Finding out residents’ views on the quality of service delivery
  • Exploring an issue of concern in depth

Talking Mats Resources for use in residential care settings

We have developed specific resources which can be used in residential care:

  • The Social Care resource enables people to express their views and give feedback about 3 aspects of their lives.
  • The Health and Wellbeing pack provides an opportunity for people to discuss issues relating to 13 aspects of their lives.

All these resources are available as traditional mat-based Talking Mats Original packages or as Digital Talking Mats

To read some stories of Talking Mats in action in Residential care read these examples of relevant blogs for this client group:

What our customers are saying…

“It enabled us to build a profile of our clients focusing on their abilities. This is built into their care plan.” Mains House Care Home Ltd

“We find it a really useful tool for night staff. Using it with residents can be calming.”
Adamwood Nursing Home

“it’s a good tool for a blether.” Gracelands Nursing Home

“I find Talking Mats engages residents. It opens communication up for people who would normally be left out.” Nursing Home Activities co-ordinator


Talking Mats is a powerful  framework for making communication effective in residential care. It can be used to support a range of  communication difficulties, for example to improve  communication for people with  dementia or as a communication resource to support individuals with stroke.  It supports the residents to think through issues and communicate their views. It provides a visual record for reflection and can be used as a focus for review meetings.The Talking Mats communication symbols can greatly improve residents involvement in their care.

Residential care workers will get most benefit from the Talking Mats framework if they have attended a recognised Talking Mats training course.