Dementia and BAME communities

It is estimated that the number of people with dementia worldwide will double by 2030 and triple by 2050, yet dementia research remains relatively underfunded.

There is also evidence that African-Caribbean and South Asian UK communities are at higher levels of risk than the indigenous white population, but despite substantial increases in the number of older people from these groups, policy guidance on black and minority ethnic older people has yet to find its way into practice. Understanding of dementia within black and minority ethnic communities also appears limited, with poor knowledge of services and stigma around the illness.

Better support for BAME people living with Dementia

The Race Equality Foundation was awarded a grant by the Department of Health and Social Care to lead a programme with Black South West Network, Caribbean African Health Network and Friends Families and Travellers, to work with 21 voluntary and community organisations to support black, Asian, and minority ethnic people living with dementia and their carers. This work was completed in October 2020. Read the full article here.

Pandemic effects

Dementia is the most common pre-existing condition for people who are dying from Covid-19, and for the 25,000 people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds living with the condition across the UK, the social restrictions imposed during lockdown have made an already challenging time even more difficult.

The pandemic has seen demands on black, Asian, and minority ethnic-led organisations that support these individuals grow severely. These organisations, whilst best placed to provide essential local support services, have faced their own challenges, including immense financial strain, loss of volunteers, and staffing crises due to employees shielding. Read more about it.

Dementia Newsletter August 2020

Better support for black, Asian and minority ethnic people living with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full newsletter here.

Dementia Newsletter September 2020

The projects funded under the DHSC Covid-19 dementia programme have been
progressing well. They have been providing a range of support, information, and
advice to black, Asian and minority ethnic people living with dementia, their families,
and friends. Read the full newsletter here.

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. Read more here. 

The impact of dementia on the UK African Caribbean Community

About two thirds of those living with Dementia in the UK are living with Alzheimer’s disease with roughly a further 20% living with vascular dementia. It has been estimated that there are over 25,000 people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities living with Dementia in the UK. However, this estimate is based on the assumption that the prevalence of dementia in these communities is the same as that for the White UK indigenous population. There is increasing evidence that the African-Caribbean population in the UK is at higher risk of vascular dementia than the indigenous White population. There is also evidence that the early onset vascular type of dementia is more prevalent in African-Caribbean population. Read full report here.

Dementia and black and minority ethnic carers

There are currently 850, 000 people living with dementia in the UK of whom approximately 25,000 are estimated to be from a minority ethnic background (APPG,2013). The number of people from minority ethnic communities living with dementia is set to increase to 50,000 by 2051 and 172,000 2051. This is a seven-fold increase in 40 years compared to the two-fold increase in the majority population (Wohland et al, 2010). The main reason for this expected increase is the ageing of some key immigrant populations but better awareness amongst minority ethnic communities and current policy to increase timely diagnosis may also play a part. Read full report here.

Supporting People Living with Dementia in the Jewish Community

Based on statistics from the 2011 census the Jewish population has a slightly higher median age than the general population being 41 years compared to 39 years.  Proportionately there are significantly more people over 80 and over 85 than the general population.  In 2011, 21% of the Jewish population in the UK were over 65.  Given that statistically the prevalence of dementia is greater as age advances and particularly for people over 80, clearly the Jewish community has a significant challenge to meet. Read full report here.

Dementia and cancer in the Irish community in Britain

The absence of up to date evidence about the Irish community is occasionally noted, but, due to a tendency to define ethnicity in terms of skin colour, policy makers and commissioners generally fail to commission research on this group.  The presumption that the Irish community have the same problems and needs as English people underplays evidence that poor health and limiting long term illness continue into the second and third generation of Irish migrants. Read full paper here.

View our resources for dementia and black and minority ethnic communities here.