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Dementia and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities

The project came out of the October 2016 roundtable on dementia and BAME communities.  Participants in the roundtable came together at the end of the event and in the following weeks to develop an action plan to be taken forward by partners.  Resources for delivery of parts of the action plan were identified through the additional funding stream available to Health and Wellbeing Alliance members.  The Race Equality Foundation, in partnership with Faith Action and Friends, Families and Travellers, successfully bid for the funding through this process.

The project set out five key areas of work to progress over the following six months: partnership, resources, professional events, community events, and research engagement.  This report will set out the key activities and outputs from these areas of work before going on to discuss the themes that emerged from the events.

Key Messages

  • The number of black and minority ethnic people with dementia is increasing, and increasing faster than for the White British community.
  • Inequalities between and within communities are having a significant impact on black and minority ethnic people living with dementia and their families. There continue to be challenges at all stages of the dementia pathway, from prevention through diagnosis, care and end of life.
  • Knowledge of dementia is still quite poor across communities, and even among professionals. This has a significant impact on issues such as prevention.
  • Black and minority ethnic carers are still poorly supported in most of England and continue to face barriers to participation.
  • Services in some areas are working to address these issues, and voluntary sector organisations have often led the way in developing services that meet the needs of their communities.
  • Where services have been most effective is where local partnerships have been able to coordinate activities and use limited resources to their best effect. However, some areas are further ahead than others. Similarly, some areas have few, if any, local voluntary sector organisations with the capacity to undertake such work unsupported.
  • Where services and support are well-coordinated and resourced, it can have a transformational effect on individuals and families.
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Author(s): Samir Jeraj and Jabeer Butt
Publisher: Race Equality Foundation
Publication date: August 2018