Linguistics at Newcastle

Helping People Living with Dementia

Helping People Living with Dementia

DEMtalk is a modifiable toolkit designed to help people living with dementia and their carers. It sets out simple advice about communication.

The problems associated with dementia can make communication difficult. But, there are techniques that can help.

DEMtalk offers advice and has stories about people living and communicating with dementia. It encourages people to share their own experiences and to make suggestions of their own, so that it will evolve over time.

The toolkit is designed to be user-friendly for everyone, including people who may not be very technical. It is, and will always be, free to anybody who wants to use it.


The development of DEMtalk was facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Society and Newcastle University. 

DEMtalk has its origins in discussions between people living with dementia, their relatives and friends, professionals from care backgrounds and communications specialists. 

It was designed in the belief that people living with dementia have a right to control over their own lives. Clear communication helps to offer that control. 


DEMtalk is overseen by:

  • Dr Tony Young, from ECLS
  • Dr John Vines, from Computing Science 
  • Dr David Howells, a Psychiatrist
  • Christopher Manthorp, a dementia care professional and writer on the subject

Its development was part-funded by a grant from CRiLLS.


DEMTalk won the James J. Bradac prize in the USA and a care innovation award from David’s House, a home for people living with dementia in London.