Better support for BAME people living with dementia

The Race Equality Foundation (REF) has been 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.

The foundation will work with 21 voluntary and community organisations to support black, Asian, and minority ethnic people living with dementia and their carers.

A spokesman for REF said dementia is the most common pre-existing condition in 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, while 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.

The programme will assist those voluntary and community organisations struggling due to the financial crisis to continue to support BAME individuals and families living with dementia.

Some of the organisations supported are providing telephone and online services advice and emotional support.

Others are providing culturally appropriate volunteer schemes to offer practical support with everyday tasks, and some are offering enhanced advocacy in appropriate languages so that BAME people living with dementia can better engage professionals and agencies.

In addition, the Race Equality Foundation is developing a national resource of written, spoken and video translations of the latest guidance and communication (such as shielding letters), as part of the programme.

Jabeer Butt, chief executive officer of Race Equality Foundation said: ‘This funding will enable these immensely important organisations to provide much-needed support specifically tailored to the needs of black, Asian and minority ethnic families affected by dementia.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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