Involving young people: a 'Ticket to Talk':
Young people tell us they find it difficult to know what to say to people living with dementia, or they are afraid of saying the wrong thing. It is important to break down these barriers.
Dr Tony Young is keen to help stimulate conversations between young people and people living with dementia. Tony met with young people from a local youth organisation called Youth Focus NE, UK to discuss their communication fears and barriers, and to find ways of ‘youth-proofing’ the Demtalk website. The young people involved in the project felt that, whilst the website contained useful and valuable information, websites are not often used by young people - they would much prefer to use an app on their smartphones.
This insight led to a collaboration with researchers at Newcastle University’s Open Lab to produce a smartphone app to help young people communicate with people living with dementia. The app, called ‘Ticket to Talk’, is designed to help young people access information when they are with a person with dementia. If they are at the dinner table, for example, they can use their smartphone to get hints and tips on what to say.
The app, which is due to be launched later this year, is likely to have wider appeal and application - and may be useful in all sorts of settings to support interaction, such as care homes and day centres.