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Quality care matters in ethnic elder's health across Europe

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Ageing Phenomonon

The minority ethnic elder population is steadily increasing in Europe in significance and visibility. However the recognition of old age as an issue for Europe's minorities has not been straightforward to address multiple needs, cultures, and expectations. In Europe, countries differ not only in their ethnic make up but also in the way in which care and treatment is given due to political priorities and costs. As Europe grows more diverse, it is vital that there is substantial knowledge, understanding, awareness and infrastructure in place to meet ethnic group concerns, health conditions and ensure duty of care. While research has grown in particular strands of health whether about particular diseases or care practices for health professionals, care providers and individuals there has been little work done into uniting users, providers and suppliers of health and care. PRIAE's work in health achieves this interpretation.

PRIAE Work in Europe

One of the largest primary research in ageing and ethnicity in Europe belonged to PRIAE. PRIAE called this the Minority Elderly Care (MEC) research project which investigated, assessed and analysed the realities and perceptions of health and social care services, BME needs and service delivery in ten European countries using 'quality' as its standard.

It was the first for a BME led body as an NGO to engage in such a major research enterprise in age and ethnicity concerning health. Its uniqueness not only stems from its ambition and implementation, but its approach in using a three dimensional perspective by covering BME elders, health and social care professionals, managers and planners as well as BME organisations. It essentially consolidated a universal perspective of health and social care across Europe and quantified data on health conditions and usage of services that were previously unavailable. By uncovering the factors that may hinder BME elders from getting the appropriate care and investigating how ageing and ethnicity is conceived by clinical and non clinical professionals, PRIAE has spread wider understanding of the process of ageing and care services and its usage as impacted on BME elders and communities across Europe.

PRIAE has developed a range of health research and development programmes to remedy substantial gaps in our understanding of specific health conditions and influence changes in policy, research and practice. For more information on our work please see Publications and PRIAE Review 2012- Celebrating age and ethnicity.