On Monday 8th August, Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service featured on ITV calendar news to call for more funding for BME-specific support and care for those living with dementia. Here is a summary of the report, with the full link below:  

The segment includes clips from the service’s weekly Hamari Yaadain (Our Memories) support cafes for South Asian people living with dementia. The café runs in five South Asian languages, something of real importance to many of its clients, who now largely speak in their first language due to dementia. This multi-lingual expertise is just one of the many reasons BME-specific dementia services are so crucial.

The service also helps to raise vital awareness of dementia in Black and Minority Ethnic communities. As the report explores, dementia is often not talked about within South Asian communities and there isn’t a word for dementia in five South Asian languages. As Kalvinder Degun, whose Dad is supported by the service, states, “At first, when we heard about it, we didn’t even think dementia happened to Indian people so we were kind of isolated… There’s stigma attached to it… What we don’t want for other people… is for it to get to a crisis point before we ask for help.”

With 25,000 Black and Minority Ethnic people living with dementia in England and Wales, a figure that is expected to double by 2026, it’s clear that such services are more vital now than ever. As Ripaljeet Kaur, head of Touchstone’s BME Dementia service, says, more needs to be done: “There’s a huge gap in services which meet their needs. It’d be really good to fund organisations and projects like us going forward so we can support these people and these families.”

As the only BME dementia service in Leeds, there is clearly a huge need for increased funding of such services, which are vital to people living with dementia and their loved ones. As Kalvinder states, “[Without a service like this]… my dad would kind of deteriorate faster.”

For the full ITN report, please visit the link below: https://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2022-08-09/concern-over-huge-gap-in-culturally-appropriate-bame-dementia-care

To get support from the BME Dementia Service, please visit their webpage here.