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15th July 2011
Family ties are particularly strong in some Black and Minority Ethnic communities, but, changing circumstances and economic pressures could be making it increasingly difficult to care for elderly relatives at home. Mohammed Mahroof, consultant with Mark Jenkinson & Sons, sees rising needs and business opportunities for new ways of caring for people from BME communities.
Elderly care has featured high as a contemporary media issue.
It is a fact that we have an ageing population who are living longer and leading more active lives. Therefore, the need for elderly care facilities will rise or more people will have care delivered to their homes. Whatever the outcome, we need to plan now.
One area which could I believe see a rise in demand in the future is BME elderly care. There are very few care facilities across the country which cater specifically for the needs of the BME community. Understandably so because some of these communities are now becoming second and third generation and the need is now coming to light.
With need comes a business opportunity for entrepreneurial developers/operators. The key ingredients being location, neighbouring facilities and possibly tenure.
It is a well known fact that people are generally happier living in an environment that is familiar to them with facilities that they can relate to. So specialist shops, places of worship, medical facilities and familiar surroundings become key considerations.The concept of an elderly care village will appeal to many elderly people but even more so with the BME community where the need for their own front door key and a feeling of security are very important.
The concept of independent living, where relatives can come and stay, with a place of worship nearby, and the knowledge that care will be provided as and when required, are key points in developing care facility for the BME community.
The silent demand is certainly there. The reason I say silent is that it is still a long held tradition that people are reluctant to embrace the need for elderly care in the BME community which can be seen as a weakness of the extended family unit.
Many elderly people are reluctant to mention that they would prefer independent living for fear of upsetting their families in the nicest possible way but privately the demand and the need is there.
I feel that there are opportunities throughout the country for such facilities, in particular, where there is a high proportion of BME populations.
As reported in the The Sheffield Star Business Supplement - 13th July 2011
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