• 10Aug

    Barriers to accessing dementia support in African Caribbean community

    A new film aimed at raising awareness amongst health and social care professionals of dementia in the African Caribbean community has been launched today by Health Education England.

    The rate of dementia amongst people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin with the UK is expected to rise significantly compared to population as a whole. Despite this, it is recognised that there is low awareness of dementia and low numbers of people accessing dementia services from within BAME communities.

    The ‘Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia 2020’outlines the need to reduce variation in dementia care, support and access.  It commits to increased diagnostic rates amongst BAME communities and greater provision of culturally competent care, with staff better able to meet the diverse needs of people with dementia.

    Finding Patience’ has been developed with input for experts across the system and follows Patience and her family as they recognise and come to terms with her dementia and ultimately seek help.

    The films opens the door for health and care professionals to start talking about these issues. It provides an understanding of cultural sensitivities that may result in a reluctance to come forward and talk about concerns, and encourages health and care professionals to break down barriers in order to reach this group of society who may otherwise go undiagnosed or struggle in isolation to provide care within family units.

    Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality at Health Education England said:

    “Understanding cultural factors that can prevent people seeking help and advice is essential if we are to tackle health inequalities and improve rates of early diagnosis. ‘Finding Patience’ provides insight in to the experience of dementia within African Caribbean families, allowing health and social care workers to understand challenges that may be rooted in a person’s cultural background and facilitating person centred care.”

    David Truswell from Dementia Alliance for Culture and Ethnicity, and Culture Dementia UK said:

    “There is growing evidence that the African-Caribbean community has some high risk factors for developing dementia and it is important that people from the community are able to get help as soon as possible if they are developing dementia. ‘Finding Patience’ is really helpful in showing how one family gradually comes to realise what is happening and how difficult this process can be for everyone.’

    Finding Patience’ can also be used as a tool to raise awareness amongst African Caribbean families of the importance of speaking about dementia and seeking help early.

    Find out more on the Health Education England website.