October is Black History Month and this has lead us to thinking about the impact of how people from black and minority ethnic groups manage with Dementia.

More than 25,000 older black and minority ethnic people live with Dementia in the UK (Social Care Institute for Excellence, September 2020). Those from the African-Caribbean and Asian backgrounds are more likely to struggle with things such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and so there is more prevalence of vascular dementia. So, while black people are more likely to develop Dementia, a study in 2018 found that less are likely to be diagnosed or seek support. This is mostly the case with black men. There is a suggestion that this may go back to a stigma with dementia and mental health, or that there is a lack of support at GP level. It’s quite possibly something linked to the Windrush generation who left their country of origin when younger and so have never had to experience this with their elder loved ones. 

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Maya Angelou, Poet

There is support locally within Northamptonshire from GPs and the Memory Assessment Service to look at diagnosis and signpost to other services. There is still some work to do in ensuring people know where to get this support as often we hear that people just don’t know where to go. And then imagine trying to navigate a system wide group of services in English when this is not your first language combined with a lack of ability and cognition if you are the person who has dementia?

Northamptonshire Carers endeavours to provide a group of services that are available to all. Dementia may be the condition that someone is living with but we don’t see this as defining the person. We are open to ideas about how we can continue to support people to live well with dementia and even more so if there are cultural or spiritual factors to be mindful of. 

Thanks to funding from Carers Trust and the Dept for Culture, Media & Sport, we're providing a wide array of virtual support, activities and information for Carers from all of our communities in Northamptonshire. Please do get in touch if you would like more information on the current Zoom sessions that we are running and check back on our website for news of even more groups and activities.

#letstalkloneliness #communitiescan #NorthantsTogether #BlackHistoryMonth