Why are we running this project?

Dementia is also becoming an increasingly relevant issue for older people from migrant backgrounds and their families. As the condition progresses, dementia patients tend to lose their ability to speak a foreign language, in this case the language of their host country Germany that they have acquired over time. This often results in problems communicating with doctors and care staff. Furthermore, potential taboos around the disorder within the families may lead to patients not taking advantage of support services. This, in turn, can lead to social withdrawal and isolation. The German social and healthcare system as well as the affected families are ill equipped to face this challenge. Today, there are individual information and counseling centers; however, these often act only locally or cater to a particular target group. Information material is available in multiple languages, but this is not widely known. While activists do their share within their respective cultural communities, they are for the most part not formally connected to the healthcare system or other initiatives.

What are our goals?

We strive to improve the quality of life of dementia patients from migrant backgrounds.

Culturally sensitive information and counseling services are available for dementia patients from migrant backgrounds, covering the condition itself as well as care options. The specific goal is to provide patients in Germany and their families with better information about dementia and to support them in finding and using support services.

Over several years, the DeMigranz project will bring together policy-makers and practitioners as well as networks active in the field to develop ongoing information and counseling services and establish the groundwork for nationwide networking. During the first stage, the project will be run in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Schleswig-Holstein.

What are the main tasks?

The project’s main objective is to launch a nationwide initiative as the driver of information and counseling services in the German federal states. On a state level, the aim is to organize events and get-togethers that allow stakeholders to become acquainted with one another and discuss priorities. On a federal level, events are aimed at disseminating the findings gained on state level, providing the basis for comprehensive networking.

The assessment of existing literature on dementia and migration as well as the collation of material published in the respective native languages is to be made available to all parties involved.

Who runs the project?

As the lead project sponsor, Demenz Support Stuttgart supervises and facilitates the work processes in cooperation with the Demenz-Servicezentrum für Menschen mit Zuwanderungsgeschichte, AWO Unterbezirk Gelsenkirchen/Bottrop (Dementia Service Center for People from Migrant Backgrounds, Workers’ Welfare Association, Subdistrict Gelsenkirchen/Bottrop), which will contribute its long-standing experience and expertise to the project.

Content and expertise will be provided to DeMigranz by:

  • Federal Association of Immigrant Groups in Germany (BAGIV)
  • German Association of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (BAGSO)
  • German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)
  • Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft e.V. Selbsthilfe Demenz
  • Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
  • Board of Trustees, German Society for the Aged, Wilhelmine Lübke Foundation