Getting help for forgetfulness

North ThamesMental Health
Published Date: 12 Apr 2017

Getting help for forgetfulness

NIHR CLAHRC North Thames has produced a new resource to help Black African and Caribbean elders seek help from their GP when experiencing memory problems.

The CLAHRC has developed a leaflet with information on why it makes sense to visit your GP if you experience memory problems; symptoms of dementia; what memory services can do to help and signposting to further information. We welcome orders of the printed version of leaflet which the CLAHRC can provide for free.

A project under the CLAHRC’s mental health theme focuses on improving the care of Black African and Caribbean people with memory problems, which can be an early warning sign for dementia. We know that Black African and Caribbean elders develop dementia earlier, and seek help later than their White peers.

This delay can greatly impact access to treatment, care and support, and reduce the independence of dementia patients prematurely.

The CLAHRC carried out extensive engagement work within this community – running focus groups and conducting interviews to find out the perceptions and beliefs that influence people’s decisions to seek – or not to seek – help from their GP when memory problems first arise.

As well as disseminating our findings we have concentrated all the learning from the project into a new leaflet “Getting help for forgetfulness“.

It provides answers to situations and concerns that members of the Black community have told us they have about getting help for forgetfulness. It contains useful advice about overcoming difficulties in gaining help and information for memory problems.

We trialled the leaflet in patients without a diagnosis of dementia in several GP practices and they liked it.

As well as disseminating our findings through publication and presentation, we provide printed copies of the leaflet to the NHS, community and voluntary organisations, and charities – just contact us with your needs.

Moïse Roche