SOUTH Asian people living with dementia will now benefit from improved culturally sensitive support, thanks to a new online toolkit launched by universities and charities. 

The project was jointly led by researchers from the University of Bradford and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and is being hosted by the London-based Race Equality Foundation.

The South Asian Dementia Pathway Toolkit (ADaPT) aims to provide more accessible, tailored resources, enabling services to provide more culturally appropriate care.

Studies have claimed that South Asian people are at greater risk of developing dementia, but are less likely to access all points of the care pathway.

They are also more likely to face barriers including a late or missed diagnosis, reduced access to treatments and inadequate support.

These issues are often made more complex by language or cultural barriers, and many have argued that the ‘one size fits all’ approach can leave patients from minority communities at a disadvantage.

The number of South Asian people with dementia is expected to increase sevenfold by 2051, in part due to inequalities in service provision and the increased risk of other health factors associated with dementia.

For white British people, the rise is expected to be more modest – doubling over the same period. 

The toolkit includes short films, animations, assessments and post-diagnostic support – all of which have been culturally and linguistically adapted for South Asian people. 

The news of the toolkit was announced during National Dementia Awareness Week, and forms part of a range of dementia activities led by the University of Bradford.

Dr Sahdia Parveen, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bradford and the study’s co-lead, said: “It is well established that people from South Asian backgrounds living with dementia experience a number of inequalities throughout the dementia care pathway, which not only has a negative impact on the person living with dementia, but the entire family.

“I am proud that the study goes beyond documenting these inequalities and aims to address and challenge inequalities through an online toolkit of culturally sensitive resources, aiming to improve the dementia care pathway from dementia awareness to post-diagnostic support for families.

“The resources are not only ‘evidence-based’ but have been evaluated by the very people the toolkit has been designed for: South Asian families and health and social care professionals.”