INCLUSIVE DEMENTIA FOR AN ETHNICALLY DIVERSE POPULATION: A NEW CONCEPTUAL LENS
Together with Europe, Belgium knows an increasing share of older migrants with dementia. Various attempts are made to provide accessible and suitable care for them. Culturally sensitive and person-centered care are often put forward as approaches to achieve this goal. However, our studies involving older migrants with dementia, family and professional caregivers indicate that we need to rethink the dominant care approaches for this sub-population. These approaches do not meet the complex interaction of personal, cultural and religious aspects in defining care needs of older migrants and ethnic minorities with dementia, and fail to recognize the hidden structural and systemic exclusion mechanisms at the organizational and societal level shaping inequity in dementia care. With this paper, we suggest a new conceptual lens for an inclusive dementia care provision for a diverse population. The conceptual lens centralizes the needs of the older migrant with dementia without being oblivious to the needs of informal and professional caregivers that are present in the care relationship and which consequently influence the care provision. It points out that these individual needs are complex, dynamic, situational, and reflect challenges at the institutional and societal levels.
Accurately detecting, understanding, and responding to the complexity of these needs is required in order to move toward inclusive dementia care. To conclude, this conceptual lens broadens the scope in the search for suitable and inclusive dementia care for an ethnically diverse population, suggesting that building blocks for this goal should be searched at the micro, meso and macro level
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