25,000 people living with dementia from ethnically diverse backgrounds

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Carers Support West Sussex (CSWS) have a bilingual memory navigator especially to help carers with South Asian backgrounds caring for someone with dementia.

Working at local charity, CSWS, Parveen Khan has an essential role as bilingual memory navigator in response to the fact that there are around 25,000 people living with dementia from ethnically diverse backgrounds. This number is expected to double by 2026 with the steepest increase expected in South Asian communities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority communities, who have experienced higher infection and mortality rates than the white population shining a light on inequalities and highlighted the urgent need to strengthen action to prevent and manage ill health in deprived and ethnic minority communities.

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Research also suggests people from ethnically diverse backgrounds often face delays in health diagnosis and barriers in accessing services. This can be because including a lack of awareness of suitable services, language barriers and access to translation services, mistrust, and concerns about cultural appropriateness.

Carers told CSWS that they would benefit from having somewhere to come together regularly to share experiences, gain peer support and also, importantly, find out more about support available for themselves and the person living with dementia. As a result, CSWS set up a group, called Yeh Dosti, which now meets monthly at Broadfield community centre. Each session is based around a theme requested by the carers, for example, nutrition, seated exercises, health checks and fun activities such as culturally specific board games. One carer who has attended previous sessions said, “this group is really good, it will bring the diverse community together, it is much needed. It’s good to have a group that you can relax, have a chat but also get information.”

February’s group will feature a local lawyer presenting about the importance of wills and power of attorney. Future groups will feature home visits from the fire service, Age UK, Carers Health Team and other professionals.

The next Yeh Dosti group will take place on the 13th of February at Broadfield Community Centre, Broadfield Barton RH11 9BA from 10.30am to 12. Free entrance and refreshments.

For more information about these groups, how you can join or even the services available to you, please contact CSWS by phone on 0300 028 8888 or email [email protected]

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