NHS England launches intercultural dementia care guide

27 June, 2023

The new guide is designed to help healthcare workers provide the very best dementia care for people from a wide range of ethnic groups

This new guide, published in May 2023 is designed for health and care workers to help them provide the very best dementia care for people from a wide range of ethnic groups, especially minority ethnic groups. The guide discusses the challenges that healthcare staff may be faced with when trying to provide good quality dementia care for these population groups, such as how to understand people’s needs and wishes in the light of different values and traditions, and how to adapt care and support to religious beliefs and cultural traditions. Produced in collaboration with Alzheimer Europe, the content contains insight from focus groups held in England with people from ethnic minority communities and from the national NHS England Dementia team.

The way lay people from different cultures understand dementia is discussed, as well as different cultural approaches to dementia care, how to best provide intercultural care and support, language and communication and how to collaborate with families.

Useful tips from the guide include:

  • Provide people from different ethnic communities with culturally appropriate and understandable information about dementia and existing services and support.
  • When it comes to dealing with families and different cultural approaches to dementia care, try to be proactive in offering support and avoid making assumptions about what families do and don’t want. Don’t lose sight of the person with dementia as a result of making an effort to include the family in discussions about care.
  • If people with dementia need assistance dressing and you don’t know how certain garments should be worn, find out as it is likely to be important for them and perhaps also for how others perceive them.
  • Pay attention to the non-verbal communication of people with dementia (irrespective of their language ability).

For more information, please see the NHS England website.