Researching how to better support Black people affected by dementia

Meet Moïse Roche, PhD Researcher at UCL in London.

Favourite things? 

  • Film – It’s always a challenge when I am asked to pick one favourite thing in an area of interest, as I have quite an eclectic approach in life. My choice will also depend on my mood and what I fancy at the time. But, if I had a favourite film, it would probably be The Shawshank Redemption, with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.
  • Way to spend time – When I’m not working, I could be working out at the gym, catching up with family and friends or checking the latest outrage on social media.
  • Memory – I don’t think I have a favourite memory. But, in the current climate, memories of my holidays in Guadeloupe are surfacing more frequently. 
Moïse Roche

Why dementia research? 

I always had an interest in how memory works and what might affect it. But then, some years ago, I started to volunteer with Alzheimer’s Society and became interested in finding out why so few people from Black backgrounds seemed to use dementia services.

It was as if dementia did not affect people of Black ethnicity as much as other ethnic groups. Of course, we know this isn’t the case. 

How has Alzheimer’s Society supported your work? 

Alzheimer’s Society has funded the research for my PhD, as well as making my initial proposal for it better by thoroughly reviewing it.

Alzheimer’s Society also provides ongoing advice and support through the monitoring done by Research Network volunteers. 

What are you currently working on? 

My main research is seeking to improve dementia support and experiences for people of Black ethnicity and their family carers. 

I am also working on various other projects to address health inequalities of people living with dementia, as well as improving the wellbeing of older adults through collaborative work. 

What difference do you hope this will make? 

I hope it will improve experiences and outcomes for Black families living with dementia and, at the very least, begin chipping at health inequalities related to social disparities.

The current pandemic has further highlighted that, to address health inequalities, we need to consider the wider social context in which people live. 

In what direction would you like to take your research in future? 

I would be interested in seeing that research, services and interventions are developed from the outset with the whole population in mind, and include in their design a subset of each group they intend to serve.

How can you help?

Your donation helps us to better understand and address health inequalities in dementia.

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