Welcome to the home page of the Dementia Friendly Gurudwaras Project.

What is Dementia Friendly?

Dementia friendly is the term adopted in national and local campaigns to make our communities, business and services more accessible and less discriminating to those living with dementia.

Why is it so important?

There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK.  This figure is set to rise.

People with dementia face many challenges going about their daily lives.  These include going shopping, using public transport, socialising and getting involved with their community.  When they face difficulties, it adds to their stress, and can lead to people reducing or giving up their community involvement and becoming isolated.

Unfortunately people’s lack of understanding and impatience can make these problems worse.

A study conducted in 2003 by Bowes and Wilkinson examined the views and experiences of dementia among older South Asian people, as well as their families and carers.  It demonstrated, “overwhelmingly negative experiences of dementia, with poor quality of life, desperate needs for support, lack of access to appropriate services, little knowledge of dementia, and isolation from community and family life.”1

Another study by La Fontaine et al looked at perceptions of ageing, dementia and ageing-associated mental health difficulties amongst British people of Punjabi Indian origin.  The findings suggested that, “ageing was seen as a time of withdrawal and isolation, and problems as physical or emotional; cognitive impairment was seldom mentioned. There was an implication that symptoms of dementia partly resulted from lack of effort by the person themselves and possibly from lack of family care. Therefore people should overcome their own problems and family action might be part of the solution. There was a sense of stigma and a lack of knowledge about mental illness and services, alongside disillusionment with doctors and exclusion from services.”2

How can the Gurudwara help?

Organisations such as Gurudwaras have an important role to play in ensuring people living with dementia can continue to live their lives and be an active part of their communities for as long as possible.

On this website you can find more information regarding the project, our action plan, it’s implementation and ways to get involved.


1. Bowes A, Wilkinson H. ‘We didn’t know it would get that bad’: South Asian experiences of dementia and the service response. Health Soc Care Community. 2003 Sep;11(5):387-96.

2. La Fontaine J, Ahuja J, Bradbury NM, Phillips S, Oyebode JR. Understanding dementia amongst people in minority ethnic and cultural groups. J Adv Nurs. 2007 Dec;60(6):605-14.