Dementia and Diversity: New Resource to Meet the Needs of Different Service User Groups

Dementia affects people from a wide range of communities and backgrounds but these individual cultural differences are not always reflected in the care they receive. To address this, Skills for Care has released a new publication, titled 'Dementia and diversity: A guide for leaders and managers', which has been developed to enable leaders and managers to support and develop their teams working with people living with dementia who are from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds.

The resource provides practical advice and good practice case studies relating to each stage of employing social care workers, from recruitment and induction, to further and ongoing development. It also provides suggestions, as well as scenarios that can be used to consider how you and your team should manage a particular set of circumstances. Read on to find out more about how this new publication can help your own service in meeting the needs of people living with dementia from a range of cultural backgrounds.

Dementia and diversity: A guide for leaders and managers, has been developed by Skills for Care, with Department of Health funding, and can be downloaded from the Skills for Care website. The publication’s main aim is to assist social care managers to support and develop their workforce in working with people with dementia from different cultures and backgrounds, particularly:

  • People with dementia who are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background (BAME)
  • People with dementia who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)
  • People with young-onset dementia.

The guide offers a range of approaches to improving the care of people with dementia from these backgrounds and links to a range of other useful resources.

4 Steps to Improve Cultural Awareness within Your Service

  1. Develop knowledge. By learning more about the needs of people with dementia from different backgrounds, you will be more able to meet their needs. For example, understanding that there may be a particular stigma about dementia in some cultures, or that someone who speaks English as a second language may revert to their mother tongue as dementia progresses, will prepare you for some of the challenges you may encounter.
  2. Recruit for values. If your service provides care to people from particular cultural backgrounds, ensure that you consider whether or not job applicants have suitable knowledge and appreciation of their needs. Equally, making sure that applicants understand the client group they will be caring for will help them to assess whether their own values are aligned with the role.
  3. Provide an appropriate induction. Ensure that cultural awareness, along with your own expectations, are covered during induction. Equality and diversity is included within the Care Certificate but it is important to relate this directly to the particular people you support.
  4. Develop specialists. Consider developing staff with a particular interest in different cultural backgrounds to act as a resource to other staff. Having team members with in-depth knowledge of particular religions or cultures can be an excellent way of educating staff and raising awareness of specific needs.

More resources and tools for providing the best dementia care possible can be found at our sister publication Care Quality Matters. Click here to find out more.

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