Older South Asian women sharing their perceptions of health and social care services and support: a participatory inquiry

Catherine Bailey, Zeb Sattar, Parveen Akhtar

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The needs of older people in Black Minority and Ethnic (BAME) communities require culturally appropriate services provision but little is known about how BAME older people support themselves and others, what they perceive to be their ‘needs’ and, critically, the extent to which they feel such needs are being appropriately met.

To enable older women from a BAME community to work with health and social care professionals and organisations, to support independent living.

In 2016, all 15 members of a BAME older women’s social group attached to a Women’s Centre in the North East of England, approached the research team to support achieving this objective. They did not wish to be co-researchers. A collaborative participatory inquiry was carried out. The research team and the older social group designed, together, four workshops that explored: (i) health and well-being; (ii) home and housing; (iii) services and support. There was also an evaluative session with stakeholders, and the research team managed research processes.

Most of the women described living with mobility and health challenges requiring change and adaptation. Language and literacy might be barriers to building confidential professional relationships with primary care professionals. The women emphasised needing a ‘little bit of help’ in the home, that is affordable, culturally appropriate, and on their terms. They stressed such help would make them less reliant on busy family members and restore status, purpose, and standing.

Findings do not address all BAME older people’s needs. They do, however, have implications for how health and social care services can work with older people from BAME communities, to promote and maintain meaningful independence, on their terms.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Science Reports
Issue number8
Early online date3 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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