Framework and rationale
DemTalk has a three-level framework:
A statement of beliefs and principles that provides the theoretical foundation. This informs Level Two.
DEMTEC components, consisting of:
- The ‘What’ – a definition of the component (for example, what do we mean by ‘environmental factors’?).
- The ‘Why’ – a rationale for including the component in DemTalk (for example, the impacts of environmental factors on communication involving people living with dementia).
- The ‘How’ – implications for, and guidance on, effective communication practices relating to the component.
- Level Two informs Level Three.
Actual communication involving people living with dementia, which can be applied to:
- individual care plans for people living with dementia
- carer guidance and training adaptable for different contexts for both the informal and formal carer
The diagram below illustrates the overall shape and content of DemTalk.
There is considerable academic literature relating to communication practices involving people living with dementia, but the guidance arising from this literature rarely informs actual interaction between people living with dementia and their carers.
There are numerous examples of good practice in care and DemTalk facilitates the drawing together and dissemination of these practices.
This three-level framework makes explicit to all involved what is believed to be best practice, and the principles and beliefs which underlie this best practice.
The framework also allows for principled discussion of best-communication practices and for their adaption, over time, to different socio-cultural contexts.