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Talking Mats and Dementia: Training family members

Sponsored Research
  • Joan Murphy (Talking Mats Ltd)
Funding / Sponsorship: 
Training was funded by Alzheimer Scotland and Miss Hendry Charitable Trust.

This presentation will describe how Talking Mats training was delivered to three groups of family members living with someone with dementia. It will also describe the outcomes of the training and how Talking Mats can help family members to communicate with their relatives.


The training involved two sessions. The first one included an explanation to the background and purpose of Talking Mats, a demonstration, watching and discussing DVD examples, hands on practice, discussion of topics to be used at home with their relative and planning for next session. The participants used Talking Mats with their relative and came to the second session where they discussed how they had used it and planned for the future.


Most participants found Talking Mats very helpful although two felt it had not been successful. We discussed the reasons for this and the group were very supportive and suggested possible ways forward. Overall, the participants felt that Talking Mats was a powerful and helpful tool and that it gave them quality time together with their relative with dementia. Relatives found out some things about their partner that they didn't know and were all able to do something as a result to help their situations.


Overall, it was agreed that Talking Mats is a very useful tool both for individual families and for dementia centres.

Download Handout (ppt 1.2MB)

Level of Session 
Age Group