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AE examines experiences of people from minority ethnic backgrounds with dementia, in 2018 ethics report

Friday 22 February 2019

An increasing number of people from minority ethnic groups are reaching an age at which the risk of developing dementia is higher and this trend is predicted to continue in the next few decades. At the same time, people from minority ethnic groups tend to use fewer services than their counterparts from the majority ethnic groups in different countries. This applies to most forms of support and care but is particularly noticeable in the context of residential care. It is clear from the literature that there are several factors which may contribute towards the low uptake of services and support. Moreover, it is sometimes assumed that people from minority ethnic groups don’t need support, based on the assumption that “they look after their own”. This is a stereotype which needs to be challenged and different approaches to care and support explored, together with people from different ethnic groups, in order to develop support which is culturally appropriate and acceptable.

In 2018, Alzheimer Europe (AE) set up an expert working group, chaired by Director for Projects Dianne Gove, to write a comprehensive report aimed at improving the situation of people with dementia, their carers and professional carers from minority ethnic backgrounds through the identification and promotion of intercultural care and support. Members of the working group, with different expertise and experience in the field and from a range of ethnic groups, worked together to produce the report. The key sections of the report cover issues related to the prevalence, assessment and diagnosis of dementia in minority ethnic groups, interpreter-mediated dementia assessments of people from minority ethnic groups; working with and involving local minority ethnic groups in the development of intercultural care and support, live-in/migrant carers for people with dementia and challenges encountered by professional and informal carers.

The report has now been published in English and will soon be available in French and German. AE would like to thank the members of the working group, who donated their time, expertise and personal experience in the field. The members of the group were (in alphabetical order): Jean Georges (Luxembourg), Michal Herz (Israel), Siiri Jaakson (Finland), Ripaljeet Kaur (United Kingdom), Debi Lahav (Israel), T. Rune Nielsen (Denmark), Sahdia Parveen (United Kingdom), Charlotta Plejert (Sweden), Mohammed Akhlak Rauf (United Kingdom), Daphna Golan Shemesh (Israel) and Carolien Smits (Netherlands).

The report “The development of intercultural care and support for people with dementia from minority ethnic groups” received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014–2020) and from the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Information can be found, and copies purchased from March onwards, via: