The personalisation of dementia services and existential realities: understanding Sikh carers caring for an older person with dementia in Wolverhampton
While personalisation and service choice remains a central plank of the Labour Government’s policies in health and social care, there is a growing evidence base confirming that ethnic minority groups, are disadvantaged as service users in the UK. Building on some baseline data collected in 2000 and 2003/04, our recent research (Jutlla and Moreland 2007) has reaffirmed the difficulties that Asian carers have in accessing services when caring for a relative with dementia. While such access data is important, we wish to move beyond the demographic aspects to consider the existential realities (the ontology) of the lives and cultures of those in minority ethnic groups. This paper consequently discusses the diversity and complexity of migration patterns among the Sikh community living in Wolverhampton. The paper conceptualises some of the ways in which different migration experiences and the realities of daily life influence the perceptions, experiences and patterns of care among migrant Sikh carers in Wolverhampton caring for an older person with dementia. The paper thus explores the thesis that the Sikh community is not a homogenous group; and that diversity and differences within the Sikh community can have important implications for care. Taking a biographical narrative approach to fieldwork, the relevant factors to be considered include: the carer’s country of origin; their migration route and reasons for migration; their age at migration and the cultural experiences of the carers and their communities both in the UK and India.
Citation:Jutlla, K. and Moreland, N. (2009) The personalisation of dementia services and existential realities: understanding Sikh carers caring for an older person with dementia in Wolverhampton. Journal of Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care. 2 (4), pp. 10-21