Understanding how dementia services can meet the needs of Black African and Caribbean people

Research project: Exploring and meeting the needs of Black African and Caribbean elders with dementia and their family carers: a qualitative study

  • Lead Investigator: Professor Paul Higgs 
  • Institution: University College London
  • Grant type: PhD studentship
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Amount: £89,001
     

Why are we funding this research?

Comments from members of our Research Network:

'I think the aims of this project are admirable, and more research in this area seems badly needed.'

What do we already know?

In the UK, Black African and Caribbean people develop dementia more often and at younger ages than their White counterparts. Despite this, Black African and Caribbean people tend to use dementia services much later, often when they are in a crisis or no longer able to cope alone. They are also less likely to receive drug treatments, take part in dementia research and move into a care home.

We know very little about how Black African and Caribbean people perceive dementia, their view on receiving diagnosis and treatment or about their expectation of dementia services. This knowledge however is essential to ensure that dementia care is culturally appropriate - whether it is delivered in the homes of people living with dementia, GP services, or care homes.

What does this project involve? 

This project will explore the experiences of Black African and Caribbean people living with dementia and their families, who are either living at home or in care homes. The researcher will interview people living with dementia, their carers, clinicians, care home staff and other people involved in dementia care. They will also undertake a review of literature on the topic.

They hope to build a picture of how Black African and Caribbean individuals experience their dementia journey, and their perception of the condition. 

Using all of this information, the research team will develop a dementia care pathway and framework for health and care services, to ensure they are culturally appropriate for Black African and Caribbean families.  

How will this project help people living with dementia? 

This project will contribute towards dementia care becoming more culturally appropriate for Black African and Caribbean people, and other minority ethnic groups. It will help to ensure that people from these groups can access the services they need in a timely manner, at the earliest stages of dementia. 

The research team hope to help Black African and Caribbean people living with dementia and their families to be more informed when they are planning their future care. Ultimately, this project will help us to reduce the inequalities we see in dementia services, to make sure that everyone living with dementia gets the help they deserve.

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