Dementia in the BAME community: How home care can help

Improving dementia care and support for Black communities- Ashridge home care

According to the Alzheimer’s Society black African and black Caribbean people with dementia are less likely to enter residential care when compared to white people with dementia?

Live-in home care is one way to ensure that people from the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community receive excellent care.

Read on to learn more about dementia in the black community and how home care can help meet the challenges facing this community.

Unique Challenges

Black people with dementia face unique circumstances and obstacles in obtaining adequate care. Because of black peoples minority status within the UK, much of the discourse, research, and policies on dementia are centred on the white experience. This means that dementia care support for black communities in the UK is often sidelined.

Differences in Dementia Diagnosis

Important differences impact dementia risk among black populations when compared to their white counterparts.

Black populations in the UK are more likely to:

  • Develop dementia at younger ages
  • Have undiagnosed hypertension — a significant dementia risk factor among the BAME community
  • Be diagnosed with vascular or mixed type dementia
  • Be diagnosed at a more advanced stage of dementia

Cultural views about dementia and the healthcare system

Black and white elders tend to view the UK’s healthcare system differently because of historical experiences. Black elders and other ethnic minorities are more likely to be wary of accessing available services because of previously experienced discrimination and current under-representation within the NHS. This means that Black people are less likely to access dementia services when the disease is more advanced and care becomes a necessity.

Structural Barriers

Black communities face many structural challenges in obtaining adequate dementia care. When they are diagnosed, black people are less likely to receive medication interventions or take part in dementia studies. Black populations are also less likely to be aware of dementia care interventions offered by the NHS and other organisations.

How live-in home care can benefit people living with dementia from the BAME community

Individualised live-in care at home

Unlike many of their white contemporaries, black and minority ethnic clients living with dementia often live with or close to their extended family. Opting for live-in care means that those with dementia can remain in their home and among their extended family.

Live-in carers with knowledge of the unique medical and cultural circumstances facing BAME people are assigned to support people from BAME communities.  These carers offer consistent one-on-one care for clients with dementia and can foster a supportive and safe home.

Dementia educator in the home

A live-in carer is a valuable asset not only to the person living with dementia but also to their family. Because of carers’ intimate knowledge of the effects of dementia, they can educate family members on how to create a safe environment for their loved ones.

Knowledgeable healthcare advocate

Live-in carers form a close bond with their clients. This bond affords carers an intimate knowledge of their client’s physical and medical condition, making them an ideal healthcare advocate.

Carers attend all healthcare appointments and advocate for the best treatment. They ensure their clients take their medicine correctly and at the correct time, and help with everyday tasks like eating, bathing and getting in and out of bed.

Home Carers can help bridge the gap between clients and the UK’s healthcare system, helping black people living with dementia to receive the best care possible.

Moving away from the comfort of their home is an upheaval and conditions such as dementia can make it even more difficult. With over 30 years’ experience in home care and dementia care services, we are committed to raising awareness of live in care as a better alternative to residential care. We are more than happy to visit you and your family at home to discuss your situation and consider the options available to you.