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Finding Patience

Raising awareness of dementia in the African Caribbean Community to facilitate early diagnosis

The number of people with dementia of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin is expected to rise significantly – a seven fold increase over 40 years compared to a two fold increase in the number of people with dementia across the whole UK population in the same period. 

It is recognised that within the BAME communities there is low awareness of dementia and low numbers of people accessing dementia services.  The ‘Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia 2020’ outlines the need to reduce variation in dementia care, support and access across age, gender, and ethnicity.  It commits to “an increase in the numbers of people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic origin and other seldom heard groups who receive a diagnosis of dementia” and greater provision of culturally competent care, with staff better able to meet the diverse needs of people with dementia.

The following Implementation Plan called for Health Education England to commission a film for health and social care providers that focuses on the specific needs of the African Caribbean community within the care process.

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

Finding Patience

Understanding the cultural heritage of individuals living with dementia, enables high quality, safe, person centred care that focuses on the individual rather than the disease, and an understanding of challenges that may be rooted in a person’s cultural background.

Finding Patience’ opens the door for health and care professionals to start talking about cultural sensitivities that may result in a reluctance to come forward and talk about concerns. It aims to encourage health and care professionals to break down barriers in order to reach people who may otherwise go undiagnosed or struggle in isolation to provide care within family units. It is also a resource for the African Caribbean community to help raise awareness and reduce some of the stigma surrounding dementia and encourage those who may have concerns about either themselves or a family member to seek early support.

The film aligns to tier 1 (awareness level) dementia training, which aims to; familiarise people with recognising and understanding dementia; support people interacting with those with dementia; and provide people with the knowledge to be able to signpost patients and carers to appropriate support.

*Thank you to all of the team; University of Bradford, Race Equality Foundation, Culture Dementia UK, Dementia UK, Alzheimer's Society, Royal College of General Practitioners (National Dementia Champions), Leeds Beckett University, Carers UK, University of Worcester, Dementia Alliance for Culture and Ethnicity, Jacqueline Fairbairn Platt, Lucy Garrod, Alistair Burns, David Truswell, Jan Oyebode and Carole Peltier. We'd also like to thank The Edge Picture Company for producing the film.

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