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Inquiry launched to improve support for people with dementia in minority ethnic groups

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia has launched an inquiry exploring the current provision of support for people living with dementia in minority ethnic groups in the UK.

The group is launching the inquiry into this topic as people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups are under-represented in dementia care services and generally seek a diagnosis later. It believes evidence in this area is limited, but it does indicate there may be lower awareness, higher levels of stigma, and different cultural understandings of dementia among people from BAME communities.

The inquiry will set out to investigate the problems people with dementia from BAME groups face, whilst exploring the dementia support available to them. The group will make recommendations for action to ensure individuals and families from BAME communities are well supported. It will also identify and share examples of services that are providing effective and high quality support.

In this work the group will seek evidence from a range of people. This will include people with dementia and their carers, health and social care providers and practitioners, and experts in dealing with those challenges that can arise for people living in minority groups.

Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, chair of the group, said: 'It's vital that people with dementia from all walks of life have access to support that can help them live well with the condition. Last year, the APPG focused on improving diagnosis of dementia. Our focus now is on ensuring high quality dementia support is available to all once they've received a formal diagnosis.

'Making sure more services are tailored to meet the needs of people with dementia from ethnic minorities will mean they can achieve the best possible quality of life.'

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society, added: 'With ageing populations in BAME groups across the country, dementia is a growing challenge. The limited evidence we have suggests few people get the support they need. Alzheimer's Society exists to help all people with dementia, and is developing its work to ensure services suit the needs of people from BAME communities.

'This inquiry will shed light on how well people with dementia in BAME communities are supported, providing an evidence base showing where improvements are needed. It's vital that commissioners take into account the needs of people in these harder to reach communities so they get the support and information they need.'

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