A network of new dementia-friendly spaces for BAME communities will open across the district to challenge stigma around an often 'nameless' disease.

There is no word for dementia in the main Asian languages but recent data suggests around 20,000 people from BAME backgrounds live with it in the UK alone.

Sharing Voices Bradford is pushing for more diversity when it comes to dementia treatments with most spaces creating sights and sounds that are largely familiar to white backgrounds.

Mohammed Akhlak Rauf MBE, a dementia support officer for Sharing Voices, explained some communities have little understanding of how the condition affects people and their lives.

He said some assume symptoms are a normal part of the ageing process or that their family member has simply gone ‘pagaal’, or insane.

He said: “These families are often struggling to cope.

“In later life you tend to relate back to your first language even if you’ve lived here a long time.

“We have to have culturally appropriate services. It might mean targeting people with plain English. It might mean working with younger generations and they say ‘Grandma’s got these symptoms’.”

Sessions run weekly on a Thursday at Girlington Community Centre, fortnightly at St Paul’s Church in Manningham for African and Caribbean communities, fortnightly at Roshni Ghar in Keighley (women only) and fortnightly at Sangat Centre in Keighley (men only).

People can book in by calling Sharing Voices on 01274 731166.

One carer from Bradford, who asked to remain anonymous, says mainstream services are just not able to reach BAME communities.

She is caring for her 80-year-old husband who began to show dementia symptoms in December.

She said dementia, much like mental health issues, is treated as a taboo topic for minority groups - in turn making people unable to reach out for help.

The carer said: “I work full time and at the moment I’m not getting any help. I’m just trying to manage myself and see how I cope.

“I also know I’ll get ill myself if I stay in with him. My job is my passion.”

She feels lucky her work with elderly people meant she noticed the signs immediately but recognises it isn't like that for most people.

She said: “Things very quickly deteriorated. He gets anxious about losing things, he was very organised. I find it very difficult to explain things to him.

“There’s a lack of understanding, lack of will, lack of services.

“For me it’s crucial that the services need to be accessible, whatever area. Because of the language problem they’re not feeling comfortable or able to communicate.

"We need to make sure we have settings for people with these needs.”