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Mohammed MBE

PhD at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies

  • Supervised by: Professor Jan Oyebode and Dr Sahdia Parveen
  • Project title: Memory problems to complex needs: How do South Asian carers manage the transitions relating to the care of a family member with dementia
Mohammed Akhlak Rauf MBE, PhD student at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies

A brief background

Mohammed is a final year PhD student with over 20 years of working with communities regarding health and social care inequalities. He has worked with South Asian people affected by dementia for 16 years – both living with it and as family carers. A Founder and Director of Meri Yaadain CiC (A BAME dementia Community interest Company), he was awarded an MBE for his services to people living with dementia and their cares. As a PhD student, Mohammed has sought to bring together academic learning and skills acquisition.

What was your motivation for pursuing a PhD and for researching your particular topic?

"My grandmother died with dementia and it was never diagnosed nor my parents offered any support as carers. This has always been at the back of my mind to want to make sure BAME families are provided with meaningful engagement, information and access to culturally competent services."

Aims and methods of your study

1. To develop an understanding of how South Asian families cope with transitions in the dementia-related needs of a relative with dementia – given possible influences of socio-cultural or religious factors.

2. To identify transitions as ‘step changes’ in levels of care needs and make recommendations that will enable effective coping strategies at the various stages.

The methods are a two-part qualitative research – a cross-sectional study looking at retrospective experiences of caring to influence a second study – longitudinal study over 6 months.

What impact do you hope your study will have?

"I try to keep my study ‘alive’ in that it is influencing and impacting on policy and practice through my work. Once the study is completed, I hope to write a number of papers for publication that can influence recruitment and engagement for research, understanding of dementia care in South Asian communities, Stigma and family carers, how transitions in culture impact on cultural expectations in relation to care of relatives living with dementia.

I hope the study will influence policy, practice and further research."

Findings and publications

"I am analysing data at the moment, but have found interesting data including faith and gender-based influence impacting on how families cope with stigma and caring from within and external to immediate family.

"I've not written any articles for publication yet, but on-going learning from the PhD has been presented at various conferences including British Society of Gerentology, Dementia Congress, Alzheimer Europe Conference, Diverse Cymru BAME Dementia event, BBC Asian Network Radio, Asian satellite channels and local radio."

Partners and funding

"My research is taking place through the University of Bradford and has a number of support mechanisms, namely an ‘Expert by Experience’ – Shahid Mohammed, a Carer Reference Group – people living with or caring for a relative living with dementia and a Stakeholder Panel – professionals.

"The funding source for my research is the Alzheimer’s Society."