Inclusive dementia care for an ethnically diverse population: a new conceptual lens
RHEA RESEARCH SEMINAR BY DR. SALOUA BERDAI CHAOUNI
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.
BIOGRAPHY DR. SALOUA BERDAI CHAOUNI
Saloua Berdai Chaouni is a doctor in Adult Educational Sciences (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and a master in Biomedical Sciences and in Gerontological Sciences and obtained several qualifications in Management. After a short academic period conducting in-vivo neurophysiological research, she stepped into the social work field. She published her first work on older migrants in 2005 as a policy report in Brussels. This was a start of a decade of innovative practice, policy, consulting, advocacy, and action research work on the intersection of (aged) care and ethnic diversity, in Belgium and in Europe. She received in 2012 the Charles Ullens reward by the King Baudouin Foundation for her policy-relevant research work on older migrants in Belgium. In 2018, she was acknowledged for her academic and educational work as a member of the Belgian-Moroccan diaspora with a Diwan Award.
Saloua is currently active as a lecturer and a researcher at the Karel de Grote University College, Erasmus University College, and is affiliated with the VUB. Her current research work focuses on older migrants, inclusive aged & dementia care, and decoloniality of research and academia. She is also active in several organizations and policy-making boards aiming for inclusive care for ethnic minorities in Belgium and Europe.
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