This is the executive summary of Dementia Dekh Baal – supporting South Asian carers of people with dementia in Rochdale Evaluation Report written by Mohammed A Rauf from Meri Yaadin CiC. To read the full report click here.
‘Dementia Dekh Bhaal’, meaning ‘to care for dementia’, was set up by tide – together in dementia everyday. Tide is a social movement led by carers for carers and campaigns to have better recognition and support for carers, enabling them to have a voice to speak up and influence change.
In 2015 the Life Story Network was commissioned by the HMR Clinical Commissioning Group and Rochdale Borough Council to review their dementia offer. The report ‘Strategic Review of Local Dementia Support’ was submitted in March 2016 and included a section on the needs of BAME communities, with a recommendation that commissioners should:
‘Invest in the development of a sustainable programme of work with the local BME communities to identify BME Community Champions to establish a coordinated model of education, advice, help and support for their local communities, building on the good practice from Liverpool and Bradford. It is particularly important to ensure that you engage and develop local community champions.’
In 2018 the CCG and the Council commissioned the Dementia Dekh Bhaal project to address the needs of South Asian carers. Specifically, the three strategic aims of the project were:
- Develop and deliver a training package for professionals to understand more about the approaches to take for BAME people with dementia and their carers to provide more culturally competent care.
- Campaign to increase awareness within the community, general public and public-sector staff around BAME dementia including a suite of material to support local carers in campaigning work and provide them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to do this with impact.
- the power of stories to change perceptions including the creation of a suite of videos capturing the experiences of people with dementia and their carers.
It is clear from this evaluation that a key success of Dementia Dekh Bhaal has been the utilisation of an ‘expert by lived experience’ to engage and involve the South Asian community in Rochdale. In essence, the ‘Story telling’ has been brought to the fore via three short films, from three carers with different experiences (home maker, a working professional and a carer with complex health needs himself). The ‘Campaigning’ has been initiated through the community roadshows, radio work and community engagement, resulting in carers signing up to be involved with tide for networking and personal development. Dementia Dekh Bhaal has also grown the grassroots movement from the initial difficulties of engagement with carers to twenty carers now being signed up to be a part of the tide movement, giving them a voice through training and further learning and development. Whilst tide has achieved the agreed objectives through its delivery of the Dementia Dekh Bhaal project, it is important that this is not seen as a stand-alone project. Far too often projects designed to support seldom heard groups are regarded as pilots that appear to be time limited and resource limited. Demonstrable good practice needs to be embedded in service provision so as to give sustainability and effective delivery in meeting the needs of the marginalized communities.
It is hoped that the learning from this project will be used by RBC and HMR CCG to review how they can make further progress in meeting the dementia and dementia care needs of the diverse communities in Rochdale.
Read the full report here.