Ticket to Talk hopes to encourage conversation between younger people and grandparents, friends or people they care for who are experiencing dementia. The app is designed to help collect and curate digital media (”tickets”) to be used to prompt and stimulate talk, conversation and reminiscence between younger people and those they are close to with dementia.
Use Ticket to Talk to create a profile for an older relative or friend, and record some useful information about them
Use the Inspirations to get ideas about what you and your friend can talk about together
Record pictures, sounds, or videos, you want to share and save as tickets in the app
Collect your tickets into conversations, where you can prepare what you want to talk about before a visit
Show your older relative or friend your tickets as a conversation starter if you reach a gap in the conversation
Share your tickets and conversations with other family members and friends to help them talk to your older relative
Ticket to Talk is a smartphone application that aims to help encourage conversation between younger people and grandparents, friends or people they care for who are experiencing dementia. The app is designed to help collect and curate digital media (”tickets”) to be used to prompt and stimulate talk, conversation and reminiscence between younger people and those they are close to with dementia.
Upon opening the app for the first time, you are asked to create a profile about you and a profile about the person with whom you’d like to talk with. You can also add other family members, close friends, or caregivers to the app so they can have access to, or contribute, content to peoples profiles. After this the app guides you to add bits of media - we call these “Tickets”. Tickets are things that can be used as prompts in conversations. Tickets are created in-app by selecting photos from the phone’s library, taking new photos or videos with the camera, or by using the microphone to record songs and sounds.
If you are struggling to come up with ideas for Tickets the app gives some small bits of inspiration to respond to, e.g. “Can you find a picture of Sarah’s old car?”. This helps you to build up a collection quickly. To use the tickets as prompts you are encouraged by the app to curate these into a “Conversation”. This is essentially a playlist of Tickets to be used as a shared resource in conversation. During an in-person conversation with a loved one or the person you care for, you would press play and the tickets would be presented to cycle through. At the end of the conversation the app will prompt you to make some short notes on how the conversation went. This can be useful to keep track of conversation topics that they went particularly well, and use these to develop new Tickets for future visits.
The app has been developed as part of the DemYouth project, where we have been working with groups of young people with personal experiences of dementia. The DemYouth project has been supported through grants from the ESRC, EPSRC and Newcastle University’s Institute for Social Renewal. It is an ongoing collaboration between researchers at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and partners at the Alzheimer’s Society and Youth Focus North East as part of the larger DemTalk project (www.demtalk.org.uk). The Ticket-to-Talk project has been contributed to by: Tony Young (Newcastle University), Daniel Welsh (Newcastle University), John Vines (Northumbria University), Roisin McNaney (Lancaster University), Kellie Morrissey (Newcastle University), Tom Schofield (Newcastle University), Leon Mexter (Youth Focus North East) and Jamie Mercer (Youth Focus North East).