Articles, Statements

ETNIMU Statement for Advancing the Memory Screenings of Ethnic Minority Elderly Persons

Prevalence of the dementia is rising amongst older persons with ethnic background. There are different kind of risk factors such as social isolation and weakening cognitive abilities.

Memory screenings are affected by cultural and linguistic challenges, as well as difficulties with communication and interpretation. One important topic raised by the panelists was the health literacy amongst older persons with ethnic background.

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Read Suomen muistiasiantuntijat ry:n, ETNIMU-toiminnan statement here

Roma People as a target group in the brain health promotion project ETNIMU in Finland

The Roma people in ETNIMU project

There were approximately 20 Roma people participating in our project, and the average age was 80-90 years.

From the beginning, cultural sensitivity was a cornerstone of our work in the project. By ‘doing together’ we slowly increased the trust between the group and the ETNIMU staff.

By asking silly questions and being open-minded we succeeded in this. For example, as a great sign of trust the Roma women showed their ankles while playing with balloons during our activities, although this is usually forbidden. Unfortunately, this connection can be easily broken – one small external change in the group or wrong sentence could cut this connection very quickly. Still at the end, our poor knowledge was forgiven, which has encouraged us to try even more new things.