Care Opinion / Talking Mats
Care Opinion was awarded £97,622 for the period of April 2016 to September 2017.
With this funding, Care Opinion developed a new online service to help people with dementia who have communication difficulties to express their thoughts, opinions and experiences of health and social care and the quality of care they were receiving. Care Opinion based this on their existing online feedback platform which allows the general public to share their opinions and experiences of health and social care. This feedback is then sent to providers of care, who respond publicly.
Talking Mats specialises in supporting people with communication difficulties so they can express themselves using interactive visual storytelling and picture symbols. Working with Care Opinion, they assisted people with dementia to communicate their experiences of care.
People with dementia living at home and in a care/residential setting were involved in the identification, design and piloting of the topics, options and visual images which best enable them to tell their story.
As a result, people with dementia now have a powerful and innovative way to share their experiences and views, thus improving their social inclusion. Health and social care services have a better insight into people with dementia’s experiences of care, which can then lead to service improvement. By bringing the stories of people with dementia onto the mainstream Care Opinion platform, alongside others, it raises awareness of their needs and in turn, impacts on staff and wider societal attitudes.