There is a real need for guidance on effective communication to help everyone touched by dementia – for people living with the condition and for those caring for them.

The Dementia Toolkit for Effective Communication (DEMTEC) aims to help people to improve communication, in both formal settings (such as care homes and hospitals) and informal settings (their own homes).

DEMTEC has been shaped over an 18-month consultation process that has taken place in the UK and elsewhere.

The authors have asked for the views, ideas and experiences of people living with dementia and their carers during this consultation.

Their contributions have impressed on us that there is an urgent need for a resource that will both inform and reassure those who are affected, directly or indirectly, by dementia.

The input of professionals from many fields, including care-home managers, speech and language therapists, nurses, psychiatrists and psychologists, have complemented the input of people living with dementia and their carers.

We have also drawn on the growing body of research evidence in the theoretical and professional literatures.

DEMTEC pulls together all the elements gathered during the consultation process and aims to enable people to use simple, accessible strategies with which to improve communication.

DemTalk has arisen out of the DEMTEC project to provide an accessible platform to promote the strategies contained within DEMTEC and allow discussion between all stakeholders involved in helping people with dementia communicate better.