Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL IAS Talking Points Seminar: 'States of Suspension: Dementia and Caribbean Futures'

13 December 2021, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm

Photo credit: Caribbean Memory Project

A lecture by Dr Ishtar Govia. Responses by Professor Ibrahim Abubakar and Professor Carol Brayne. This event will be chaired by Prof Megan Vaughan.

This event is free.

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All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Institute of Advanced Studies

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Our grief, trauma, joy; the stories we contain about our youth, family and nation are all shaped by memory, cognition, personality, mood and behaviour. How might people, as social beings, cope when the blank spaces in our stories widen? What happens when declines in these functions impair independent functioning? What counts as independent living in interdependent cultures? What counts as independent living in states whose independence has been compromised by histories and contemporary dynamics that foster dependence? For Caribbean societies profoundly shaped by colonialism, slavery, and historic trauma, dementia-related chipping away of independent functioning presents urgent challenges. By 2050, 68% of all people with dementia are expected to be living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). ADI/Bupa projected that between 2010 and 2050, the numbers of people with dementia in the non-Latin Caribbean will increase by 237%. Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to experience the fastest rate of population ageing in the world in the coming decades. What then are the histories, communities, and life course health influences that must be investigated within and between Caribbean societies? In this presentation I draw on my expertise as a transdisciplinary researcher on dementia in the Caribbean and resource-constrained contexts, and my experience as an appointed representative, and advocate and consultant to and for Caribbean families and societies grappling with dementia. I examine individual and collective human experience and the implications of this emergency in relation to strategies to prevent dementia in the diverse settings and healthcare systems in LMIC contexts. There are forces endemic to the Caribbean region that press hard against the crisis of dementia: migration, family fragmentation, violence, crime, and other challenges endemic to living in LMICs. These must be addressed in strategies for dementia prevention in the Caribbean.



Dr Ishtar Govia, IAS Visiting Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer, Epidemiology Research Unit, Caribbean Institute for Health Research, University of the West Indies


Professor Ibrahim Abubakar (PA: Anita Waterman, UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences)

Professor Carol Brayne (PA: Judith Willows, Cambridge Public Health, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine)


Professor Megan Vaughan, IAS, UCL


Photo credit: Caribbean Memory Project


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