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Thursday 27 October 2016
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New NHS film highlights dementia risks in BAME community

HEE has launched a new film to raise awareness about dementia in the African Caribbean community

Health Education England (HEE) has launched a new film to raise awareness about dementia in the African Caribbean community.

Aimed at healthcare professionals, “Finding Patience”, follows Patience and her family as they recognise her dementia and seek help.

The film was developed to provide healthcare professionals with an understanding of the cultural sensitivities that cause reluctance in talking about dementia.

The rate of dementia amongst people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin in UK is expected to rise significantly compared to the population as a whole.

But figures have shown that there is a low awareness of dementia and few people accessing dementia services from the BAME communities.

The film also encourages healthcare professionals to break down barriers in order to reach this group of society who may otherwise go undiagnosed or struggle in isolation to provide care within family units.

The Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia 2020 outlines the need to reduce variation in dementia care, support and access. 

It commits to increased diagnostic rates amongst BAME communities and greater provision of culturally competent care, with staff better able to meet the diverse needs of people with dementia.

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, director of nursing and deputy director of Education and quality at Health Education England said: “Understanding cultural factors that can prevent people seeking help and advice is essential if we are to tackle health inequalities and improve rates of early diagnosis.

‘Finding Patience’ provides insight in to the experience of dementia within African Caribbean families, allowing health and social care workers to understand challenges that may be rooted in a person’s cultural background and facilitating person centred care.”

David Truswell from Dementia Alliance for Culture and Ethnicity, and Culture Dementia UK said: “There is growing evidence that the African-Caribbean community has some high risk factors for developing dementia and it is important that people from the community are able to get help as soon as possible if they are developing dementia.

“'Finding Patience' is really helpful in showing how one family gradually comes to realise what is happening and how difficult this process can be for everyone.”