AMIDE stands for: Approaching Multi-ethnicity and Dementia in Education and Work

The governments and the populations of Europe are becoming more and more aware of the challenge of a big and growing amount of persons suffering from dementia. The risk of developing dementia increases with age. Because of increasing life expectancy and the consequently growing ageing population, an increase in the number of elderly people with dementia is expected in the coming decades. The number of Europeans with dementia is above 8 million and in 2050; it will be more than 18 million. The Danish Dementia Research Center estimates that from a population of 1.468.742 elderly persons (+60 years) in 2018; about 90.000 people in Denmark are affected by dementia and the number is expected to increase: In 2040, according to the latest projection, there will be approximately 164,000 dementia sufferers in Denmark.

Immigrants from non-Western countries represent a growing proportion of the population in Denmark. A projection of the estimated number of non-Western immigrants with dementia shows that the number is expected to rise from about 1.200 people in 2013 to more than 7.000 people in 2040.

The challenge of facing multi-culturality and multi-ethnicity in care has been a topic for some time because most of the European countries are becoming more multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. This is also the case with regard to the composition of care staff in elder care in the countries represented in this partnership. In Denmark for instance, from 2016 to 2017 the number of new employees with a non-western background employed in the municipal care of the elderly surpassed the number of ethnic Danes. http://www.danskekommuner.dk/Nyhedsarkiv/2018/August/21/

Care work is stressful and at the same time, having to manage different value systems based on

different cultural backgrounds does not make it easier. In care work, the caregiver gets very close to the person in need of care, personal barriers are broken down and the caregiver enters the intimate sphere of the patient /the old person. It is important that the educations for caregivers are providing them with relevant and up-to-date training in order to prepare them for the above-mentioned challenges in the best possible way.

The relevance and usability of the products/ materials that will be developed in this project, are ensured by the composition of the partnership with a partner from working life and a partner from education as partners from each participating country. They will cooperate closely and caregivers will be involved as co-developers.

The four European countries involved in this project represent very different historical, cultural andpolitical backgrounds. They all have the challenge of multi-culturality in society and in care. Denmark, Germany and Italy have refugees and immigrants as part of their populations. Since the 1960’es, they have imported labor force from other countries, who are now becoming old and need care. Latvia has the challenge of a very big minority of Russians. The ways these countries are facing dementia are also different: In Denmark, and to a certain degree in Germany, the care of elderly with dementia is institutionalized, whereas in Italy and Latvia most elderly, including people suffering from dementia, are taken care of by their relatives. The four countries have found different ways, approaches and solutions based on their background, traditions and financial situation. By exchanging experiences and best practices, we can enrich and inspire each other and develop innovative products and results together – and this is exactly why this project should be carried out transnationally.

Sources: http://www.videnscenterfordemens.dk;http://www.videnscenterfordemens.dk; https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/