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‘Dementia report must not be ignored’

Dementia-nA GOVERNMENT report that revealed Irish Dementia sufferers are being overlooked by state organisations in Britain must be not be ignored, says the charity who prompted the enquiry.

The findings of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia’s research into the condition among minority ethnic communities showed: “As a non-visible minority, the needs of the Irish community are often overlooked by policy-makers and service providers.”

The enquiry was launched earlier this year after the Federation of Irish Societies made representations to the group requesting acknowledgement of how the cognitive disorder disproportionately affects the Irish community in Britain.

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In response to the APPG’s findings, released a fortnight ago, FIS Chair, Dr Mary Tilki told The Irish Post: “We welcome the report and take pride in asking the APPG Dementia for an inquiry into Dementia issues, not just for the Irish but in wider minority ethnic communities.

“The report provides empirical evidence of what Irish and other minority ethnic organisations knew already about the barriers facing their own communities.”

She added: “But the question remains as to whether and how this report will inform service provision for Irish and other minority ethnic elders and I still have concerns about how the needs of Irish will be addressed.”

For Dr Tilki, a long-term campaigner and researcher on the health of the Irish in Britain, the community needs to be recognised at local and central government levels as a minority in health terms.

“The APPG report and the presentations at its launch still emphasise skin colour notions of ethnicity which focus on Asian and Caribbean communities, with less attention to the Irish,” Dr Tilki explained.

“The needs of Asian, Caribbean are undeniable,” she added, “but without a shift in thinking at policy and political level, it is doubtful to what extent the voice of Irish citizens of Britain will be heard.”

The APPG report also called on the Department of Health to map the provision of services for ethnic minorities across Britain so that successful approaches could be implemented.

APPG Chair Baroness Sally Greengross added: “I regret that there are tens of thousands of people living with Dementia every day who are not getting the services they are entitled to.

“And disproportionately it is people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities who are being failed by the system.”

Run to beat Dementia in the Irish community – Will you join us?

The IRISH Post staff are dusting off their running shoes and joining a team from their campaign partners at the Federation of Irish Societies to take the Dementia challenge to the streets to hit our fundraising target.

We are taking part in a 10k run around Richmond Park on Saturday, October 5  and hope you can show your support by either sponsoring our runners or joining us yourself to take part in the sponsored challenge.

Through the support of the community so far we have raised more than £5,000 for our on-going Cuimhne Dementia Volunteer Campaign target of £20,000.

That fund will ultimately provide for the training of 50 Irish Dementia volunteers to provide support for suffers and their families and carer across Britain.

Now the race is on to hit our target by October 5 where we will take on the 10K run, with all sponsorship money raised going directly to the Cuimhne Campaign.

We hope as many of you will join us as possible in the run to fight Dementia among the Irish community in Britain.

Will you join us on the day?

  •  If you are interested contact Charlotte Curran at FIS on or Fiona Audley on 02089004329

Fiona Audley

Fiona Audley is Managing Editor with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @fifiaudley

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