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The Dementia Experiences of People from Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian Communities in Bristol

This report sets out the findings from an eightmonth research project that aimed to establish the dementia needs of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Bristol.

The origins of this study arise from a simple question:

What is being done in Bristol to meet the needs of people with dementia and their families from BME communities?

This question was first articulated by Rosa Hui, MBE DL, Director of Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group (or BACWG), and she directed it to Bristol Dementia Health Integration Team or HIT. In trying to respond to the question, it became apparent that not enough was known about what the needs and experiences of people from BME communities were - and how these might differ from white British communities.

In order to understand these needs, the Bristol BME Dementia Research group was set up in the summer of 2015. An application for funding for a research project made by this group to Bristol City Council was successful, and a parttime Research Associate (Subitha Baghirathan) was appointed in February 2016. The project was overseen by a steering group with representation by Bristol Dementia Wellbeing Service, Alzheimer’s Society, Bristol City Council, Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group (BACWG), Bristol Black Carers and the University of the West of England (UWE).

This report brings together the results from this project and focuses on the experiences of three communities in Bristol - people whose origins lie in the Caribbean, South Asia and China. Our hope is that the report will provide a voice for people with dementia and those who support and care for them, from these communities - and that by doing so we will help commissioners, service providers and the general public to understand more about their needs. The report will hopefully act as
a catalyst for change. There is no clear consensus about the most appropriate way to refer to people who are not of the majority, white UK ethnic and cultural groups.