Skip to content

Delivering a great user experience

Communication is a fundamental care skill that, when shared compassionately, creates a truly therapeutic alliance. Higher quality, open communication enhances everyone’s experience, helps put people at ease, encourages a sense of value and provides voice, choice and control.

The REAL Communication framework supports carers to deliver a more normalised and enjoyable quality of life for the older person with dementia. It encourages greater self-confidence in verbal and non-verbal skills, helps to support staff self-awareness and resilience, as well as teamworking and professional standing.

The link between poor communication by healthcare workers and poor outcomes for the person being cared for is well documented. Many carers face struggles with sometimes complex and competing demands (especially time). They are challenged by lack of confidence, interpersonal social cultural issues and lack of appropriate training. In many care settings, high levels of need, background noise, not to mention stress and fatigue contribute to stressful environments
Our interactive workshops provide caregivers with deeper knowledge, useful strategies and simple techniques to communicate with people with dementia more enjoyably and meaningfully, making care easier to deliver. 

REAL Communication Workshops

Exploring interaction and listening 

REAL Communication

This one-day workshop for frontline care staff explores the key aspects of communication.

It includes empathic engagement, active listening, how memory works, reminiscence as theory and practice, the importance of life story and guidance on using the Many Happy Returns Chatterbox cards.

The workshop provides a mix of activities, issues-based exercises and reflective discussions, to improve participants’ existing listening and communication skills.

“I feel that I have a deeper understanging of what it feels like to have dementia now and can give people better care as a result” Care assistant”.

Dementia Awareness

This one-day workshop for frontline care staff provides an introduction to dementia care and focuses on understanding the importance of dignity and respect in the care of people living with the condition and their families or advocates – and how carers can meet their needs more sensitively. It provides an overview of national and local dementia data and the different types of dementia.

Exploring how to establish trust with the person, it demonstrates how we can interpret behaviours and how feelings intrude.

Participants have time to re-consider what good care is and how it can be improved through better communication.

“I have found that I listen more intently to what people are saying now – so often, conversations are ‘lightweight’… the workshops have helped me to get to know the people I care for and work better with, now”.

Life Stories Matter

Life story gathering may be considered by some to be merely a pleasurable, activity – and even irrelevant to care work.

The workshop shows how misguided this view is, showing the power of pleasurable engagement and the importance of our life experiences to our needs and preferences.

Using interactive learning techniques to develop their own sense of self, the workshop adopts an enquiring approach, helping carers understand the importance of life story gathering in the care of the person with dementia and helping them to develop their communication skills.


Making care in NHS settings more REAL

These one-day, NHS South London award-winning interactive workshops, are designed for second-year student nurses, doctors and Occupational Therapists in NHS teaching hospitals and universities.

The timetable focuses on a range of meaningful communication techniques for temporary, even fleeting engagements, in the moment. It considers how relational connection techniques with patients with dementia, (who often feel anxious and frightened in an apparently hostile landscape) can be improved and managed more compassionately.

The workshops support students to reflect on their own experiences, their self-awareness and sense of self-worth, encouraging them to develop coping strategies for the complex emotional and professional issues they will face with patients, families and staff teams alike.

The workshops we have developed complement mandatory training for health & social care staff, as well as medical, nursing and physiotherapy and OT students. They reflect CQC KLOEs – safe, caring, effective, responsive, well-led. We use detailed evaluation to measure learning outcomes and impact.


The REAL Communication framework is underpinned by current Adult Social Care policy and guidance and reflects 12 years’ involvement with and feedback from carers, practitioners and people living with dementia. We are active members of the NDAA (National Dementia Action Alliance).

Confident communication

Effective behavioural skills, tools and strategies for easier connection and engagement with an individual living with dementia at home or in a care setting

Enhancing relationship-centred care

Effective strategies for empathic, authentic engagement and listening to connect and build relationships with people living with dementia and their families/advocates.

Improving team relationships

Effective communication skills and strategies that support improved understanding and optimise team relationships with colleagues.

Building confidence and resilience

Enhanced self-care and self-awareness, promoting self-confidence and supporting resilience for the carer.

some of our real communication clients

Many Happy Clients

Since 2008, we have been delighted to work with a range of wonderful clients…

Want to know more?

We would welcome the opportunity to tell your more about our workshops  – So why not get in touch!