Statement by Siiri Jaakson for Advancing the Memory Screenings of Ethnic Minority Elderly Persons

by Siiri Jaakson
Prevalence of the dementia is rising amongst older persons with ethnic background. There are different kind of risk factors such as social isolation and weakening cognitive abilities. Memory screenings are affected by cultural and linguistic challenges, as well as difficulties with communication and interpretation. One important topic raised by the panelists was the health literacy amongst older persons with ethnic background.
Prejudices are present on both sides in the interaction between the patient and nursing staff. Is the person able to share personal information? How about the trust between a doctor and the patient? Does the patient understand the meaning of memory screening? At the moment, the memory screening is culture related in Finland, and the screenings don’t work with all the patients equally. What can we do about it?
Panelists included Marja-Liisa Laakkonen (Clinic of Geriatrics, Helsinki), Camilla Lindholm (University of Tampere), Ulla Buchert (University of Helsinki), Michaela Moua (Non-Discrimination Ombudsman), Päivi Majaniemi (Finnish Roma Organization) and Eva Rönkkö (The Pensioners). Chair was Rekar Abdulhamed (Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare).
Video recording of the event:
We kindly thank all of our panelists and the audience!