Colliers Gardens employees and some of our Chinese residents were involved in an eight-month dementia research study that took place in 2016.

The study set out to establish the dementia experiences and needs of different Black and other Ethnic Minority (BME) communities, focusing on the experiences of people from Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian communities in Bristol.

Researcher overseeing the project, Professor Richard Cheston from UWE Bristol, says,

“People of BME origins often experience dementia in very different ways from white British people. For example, diagnosis is more likely to occur at an advanced stage of the illness, there is lower take-up of mainstream dementia services and the availability of culturally appropriate forms of post-diagnostic support is variable.”

“Our research found that many examples of good practice, spreading across the NHS, voluntary and community sector groups. However, we also found instances where there was a lack of knowledge of dementia and its symptoms and that the diagnosis process varied within different communities.  At times, dementia was stigmatised and people were reluctant to seek mainstream help.”

Brunelcare were approached by Subitha Baghirathan, Research Associate, University of the West of England, asking for our support with some of her research reflecting on cultural experiences around the city, people living with Dementia including the Chinese population and tenants that live within assisted accommodation.

The study’s findings

In January 2017 the research findings were published by The Bristol BME People and Dementia Research Group in a report called The Dementia Experiences of People from Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian Communities in Bristol’.

Participants in the study stressed the importance of flexible and culturally sensitive residential and respite care. A key report recommendation  was the commissioning of culturally-sensitive and appropriate care, ensuring that local care home providers meet the needs of BME communities.

The report cites:

“Brunelcare’s Extra Care residential home and flats, Colliers Gardens, could serve as a model of good practice for promoting culturally diverse and inclusive care.” “…in which Brunelcare work with Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s Group (BACWG) to meet the needs of older people from Chinese communities.”

In Colliers Gardens there are 10 flats reserved for Chinese residents and the building infrastructure is inclusive of Chinese residents, e.g. dual language signage throughout the building. Participants interviewed for the report,  people in Bristol living with a dementia and their families, spoke warmly of Colliers Gardens and hoped their relatives would have the option of moving there.

Full report

We encourage reading the full report to learn more from this significant example of how cross-sector partnerships do work at a local level, providing key insight into the needs of people living with dementia.


Short film supporting the report

Bristol Ageing Better also supported the production of a 5 minute video-report to promote the findings from the study.


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