Co-producing a culturally appropriate dementia awareness training platform for African and Caribbean older adults and their supporters
Why the research is needed?
The number of older adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds is rapidly increasing in the UK. Attitudes towards using mental health services and knowledge of dementia varies greatly depending on each person’s cultural, religious, and personal beliefs and experiences. To encourage older people from diverse ethnic backgrounds who are experiencing dementia symptoms to seek timely support and care, a dementia awareness training platform should be developed with co-researchers who have an in-depth understanding of the cultural contexts regarding mental health and people’s attitudes towards dementia care.
What is already known about the subject?
Previous research has shown that African and Caribbean older adults who are experiencing dementia symptoms tend not to approach health care professionals until the later stages of their dementia. In some cultures, there is a hesitancy in using mental health services in general, and dementia may be considered as part of the normal aging process by some.
Who we are working with?
This project is being conducted as part of the NIHR ARC Dem-Comm work. It will be led by Dr Orii McDermott, supported by a co-researcher and colleagues based at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham.
How are patients and the public involved?
A public member, who has a Caribbean background and is known to the research team, has agreed to be involved in this project as an ongoing co-researcher. Her regular contributions will be crucial to ensure our future work is culturally relevant and useful. She will act as the link person between the research team and the local African and Caribbean communities.
What we will do?
We will conduct focus groups and interviews (i.e., expert consultations) with African and Caribbean older adults living in the East Midlands. We would like to: 1) find out how their community members support people living with dementia and 2) what culturally appropriate dementia awareness training may be able to help the wider African and Caribbean communities.
What the benefits will be?
We hope that research grant applications that will be developed following this work will be culturally appropriate and useful for African and Caribbean older people and their supporters in the UK.
When the findings will be available?
Dr Orii McDermott, Senior Research Fellow, NIHR University of Nottingham, Orii.McDermott@nottingham.ac.uk