Wake Up London: to the needs of people in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities living with dementia

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Wake up London is a briefing paper I have recently written with the support of Toby Williamson, Head of Development and Later Life at the Mental Health Foundation. It urges London to become alive to the needs of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities living with dementia.

The briefing paper summarises the insights gained from working with a wide variety of community groups in the past two years.

The project team worked across London with a variety of community groups. It also led a Central and North West London Foundation Trust community engagement project on raising awareness about dementia in BAME groups. In addition, I sat on steering groups; spoke at local conferences; visited services; talked to people; and listened to stories from people living with dementia, their family and carers, commissioners, clinical staff and dementia peer-support workers.

The paper also shares recommendations for decision makers from a seminar held in February 2015, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, that brought together a group of voluntary organisations working in London who are at the front line of this work both in raising awareness and delivering services.

The briefing is not just about the challenges posed by the fact there will be a seven-fold increase in dementia in BAME communities over the next 40 years, compared with a two-fold increase in the white majority community. It's not just about the fact that 58% of all people in the UK who are from a BAME background live in London.

It’s also about what the responses to the challenges could look like for London. It’s about how the BAME people growing old in London have already made a huge contribution to making it the international cultural magnet that it is today.

A lot to take in? I hope so.

Read the paper

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