News & Events Blogs BRACE Blog Dementia and ethnic minorities Last week, I attended the launch of an important new report. Produced by researchers at the University of the West of England, working with community groups and health professionals in Bristol, it looks at the experience of ethnic minority communities. This means, specifically, the Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian communities in Bristol. It was an eye-opener. It’s so easy, when dealing with national or even regional statistics and other generalities, to miss the diversity within. Dementia is individual; it's also variable on cultural lines. For example, some languages found in our communities don’t include a word that simply translates ‘dementia’. That sounds like a lot of circumlocution and potential misunderstanding. People seeking or providing help need to be able to communicate about what’s going on. Then there’s stigma. Dementia, regrettably, still tends to be stigmatised in all communities, but exactly how it is stigmatised will vary. That might have to do with the words used to describe it; for example, most of the Chinese terms listed in the report are derogatory, while some seem almost poetic. Given the fact that most of the translation happening in the UK is presumably to and from English, and English still has some serious issues to resolve in respect of the language of dementia, this must present health professionals and others with a few headaches. The way in which elderly people are looked after is another variant, and that will have an impact on how those with dementia cope with it. I could write a lot more. I have a 70-page report on my desk, after all. However, I am going to defer to someone rather more knowledgeable. Subitha Baghirathan, who is one of the report’s author’s, is going to provide a guest blog to follow this one. It will be well worth reading. In the meantime, material from the report is available on the Bristol Health Partners' website.