“Forgetfulness is common, particularly as we get older. Often this is nothing to worry about. However, forgetfulness that interferes with your daily life is not a normal part of getting older.”
This is one of the key messages in a leaflet designed to support older people who are reluctant to visit their GP despite suffering memory problems.
This is a particular issue for African and Caribbean elders, who develop dementia more often and earlier than the white UK population but access services later, and usually in crisis. While memory problems are not necessarily symptoms of dementia, a health professional can help find out for sure, and signpost people to support, and specialised memory services.
CLAHRC researchers Moïse Roche and Professor Gil Livingstone have worked with UK Black African and Caribbean adults to find out what their views are of memory problems, dementia and the NHS were;
• forgetfulness is not indicative of dementia
• dementia is not an illness affecting Black communities
• memory problems are not important enough to seek medical help
• lifestyle changes would be associated with a dementia diagnosis, as well as the risk to confidentiality and privacy
As well as African and Caribbean elders, and their carers and family members, they worked with GPs and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust to develop the leaflet, whic has now been updated.
For information or to order, please contact: Moïse Roche (email@example.com) or Gill Livingston (firstname.lastname@example.org).
GPs are often faced with patients seeking help and advice on non-clinical issues such as debt, unemployment and housing. Though these issues undoubtedly impact patients’ health and wellbeing, health professionals are not always the best qualified people to tackle them.
We investigated the impact of putting welfare advice, and welfare advisers in GP surgeries on
- the ability of low income groups to secure financial support they are entitled to
- patients’ anxiety and stress associated with financial related social worries;
- and, to GP time spent managing non-clinical issues
New CLAHRC BITEs offer a summary of two papers investigating the impact –
- A qualitative study to identify the processes by which co-located services can improve outcomes for GP practices
Co-location of welfare services has many benefits to patients including:
- Offering a signposting option for staff in contact with patients with ‘non-clinical’ social needs.
- Helping to address underlying patient social issues.
- Providing an alternative option for patients seeking help for such issues.
- Reducing bureaucratic pressures and time demands on practice staff.
Read the BITE
Co-located welfare advice in GP surgeries: part I
2. A quantitative study, using a controlled comparison, assessing the impact on mental health and service use of co-located welfare advice.
Key Findings – service users receiving welfare advice versus control group
- Had the advice service not been at the practice, nearly half of the advice group would not have sought help or consulted their GP instead.
- The majority of advice recipients reported improved circumstances after advice (e.g., stress, income, housing etc.)
Compared to those who did not get advice, after 3 months:
- Those in the advice group whose circumstances improved experienced a bigger improvement in their well-being.
- Those in the advice group experienced a bigger reduction in financial strain, reduced credit card and overdraft use.
- Those in the advice group experienced a bigger reduction in symptoms of common mental disorder, especially among recipients who were female, those who identified as Black and those who reported that their circumstances improved as a result of advice.
- There was, however no evidence for a reduced frequency of GP consultations.
- For every £1 of investment by funders, those receiving co-located advice gained £15 in entitlements on average
Read the BITE
Co-located welfare advice in GP surgeries: part II
A new Government green paper offers good news for those calling for joined up care between schools and local mental health services for children and young people.