Birmingham dementia dvdA DVD specifically aimed at South Asian families affected by dementia has been launched by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. 

The DVD, called ‘Living Well with Dementia’, seeks to address cultural issues, that previous information has not covered, which play a crucial role in families being able to cope with a dementia diagnosis. The gaps in information relate to the South Asian community and the Trust has decided to tackle this by producing the DVD which takes account of the different social and cultural issues. 

The film has been produced in Hindi and Urdu by the Trust’s mental health services for older people with funding from the Alzheimer’s Society. It features contributions and stories from service users and carers and explores what it is like to live with dementia, the associated difficulties, coping strategies as well as sources of support and advice. 

Dr Rema Swarna, of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Memory Assessment Service, said: “This DVD is designed to help raise awareness by providing information on dementia and the support available. It aims to give a positive message of hope, show how people can live well despite having dementia and explain the support available for carers.  

“The number of referrals we receive concerning people from black and minority ethnic communities does not reflect the prevalence of dementia within this community and we want to be able to help families who may be struggling.”

Staff have reported a general lack of awareness and a stigma attached to mental health issues within black and minority ethnic communities and the DVD is just one way in which the Memory Assessment Service and the Older Adults Psychology Service aims to improve awareness and understanding within this community. 

With funding through the Trust charity, Caring Minds, the DVD is also due to be translated into Punjabi, Gujarati and Bengali.

It is also hoped the film will encourage members of the South Asian community to become dementia champions. 

Picture: Aliyah Khan, Mohabbat Khan (who has dementia and features in the film) and Khadija Khan