Better Care for Older Australians from CALD Backgrounds

Better Care for Older Australians from CALD Backgrounds

27 June 2013

The Federal Labor Government will provide funding to sixteen organisations supporting older Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in aged care.

A number of projects will receive funding through the $60 million second round of the Governments Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund, which will deliver $378 million over four years.

Minister for Ageing Mark Butler said the funding is part of a broader national strategy aimed at ensuring the benefits of the Governments $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better aged care reform plan spread to the whole community.

Around 20 per cent of people aged over 65 years were born outside Australia and by 2021 that number will rise to 30 per cent, Mr Butler said.

Older people from CALD backgrounds often have different cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs which can affect the type of care and services they want and need.

In many cases, the onset of dementia causes older people from CALD backgrounds to lose their English language skills and revert to their first language. Clearly that is a unique challenge for the person affected, for families and for the aged care provider.

So, for example, one organisation will be funded to provide workshops that assist staff in supporting individuals with dementia, develop a CALD specific handbook and establish support groups for family members.

The project will support the Federal Labor Governments National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from CALD backgrounds. More information can be found at the Department of Health and Ageing website.

A full list of applicants under the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund can be found at the Department of Health and Ageing website.

CALD focused initiatives announced today include:


Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia - This project will produce a systematic review of existing research to identify current evidence and gaps to allow all aged care service providers to base future culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) program development on a strong evidence base. This project will result in a summary of current Australian research, an accessible database, identification of additional data resources and gaps in current research.
Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia - This project aims to improve awareness and acceptance of aged care services among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) seniors and their families through the development of four community engagement and education initiatives.
Chinese Community Social Services Centre - This project aims to help homebound frail aged Chinese in Queensland who have chronic illnesses and who are experiencing social isolation to improve their mental and social wellbeing and maintain independence through telecommunications technology. Small groups will participate in regular teleconferences, which will be arranged and facilitated by staff and volunteers who share the same culture and languages, sessions will also be extended to the carers of the participants. In addition, a social worker or psychologist with a background in cognitive behavioural therapy will hold small counselling group teleconferences to help participants overcome emotional stress resulting from their illness and or isolation.
Victorian Arabic Social Services - The Connecting Communities Project will strengthen and build capacity within the Arabic Speaking Background (ASB) communities by promoting positive ageing and connectedness, empowering ASB communities and creating sustainable strategies, including the development of a best practice model for aged care staff to take into account cultural sensitivities and the effects of migration on ASB elderly.
Greek Welfare Centre - This project will develop partnerships and collaboration with aged care providers in New South Wales to build their skills and knowledge to meet the needs of older people from Greek backgrounds. Activities include cultural briefings and training to aged care support services staff, information sessions to the community about aged care services, and a consultancy and advice service to aged care providers.
Italian Australian Welfare Association (Co.As.It) - This project will provide cultural briefings, information sessions, multicultural media resources and linkages to the community and mainstream agencies to enable aged care services to better cater to the needs of the older Italian community in Brisbane and the Queensland South Coast.
Italo-Australian Welfare and Cultural Centre - This project will implement and consolidate a range of varied and coordinated services and resources to assist CALD people from the Italian community in the South-west remote rural region of Western Australia. Activities include collaboration with mainstream aged care providers to develop and deliver culturally appropriate community educational awareness seminars and workshops. The project will assist with the care needs of people living with dementia by facilitating enquiries and referrals to services available through Alzheimers Australia WA.
Multicultural Communities Council of SA - This project will develop and distribute linguistically and culturally appropriate information for elderly members of targeted CALD communities, particularly those from African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities and will include information about health, fitness and diet; entitlements; accommodation and care options; and palliative care.
Sri Om Foundation - This project will increase the social participation and physical activity of small and emerging ageing CALD communities in six localities in Western Sydney. The project will initially focus on Indian sub-continent communities and provide social, educational and physical centre-based activities including health lectures, exercise programs, visits to aged care homes and information about available aged care services.
Australian Vietnamese Women's Association - This project will help to raise awareness among Vietnamese people of the health and aged services available in Victoria. Project activities include the development of a better referral system to connect Vietnamese older people to service providers, dissemination of information through Vietnamese media outlets and cultural awareness information sessions.
Polish-Australian Welfare Association - This project will support older people from Eastern European backgrounds living in New South Wales and their carers by providing information about aged care services and will encourage an enablement and healthy ageing approach. In addition, the project will provide support to aged care services in addressing cultural issues and provide expert advice, culturally appropriate resources and cultural sensitivity training.
Ozpol Service - This project will increase the cultural competency of aged care services to deliver culturally appropriate care by raising awareness of issues facing ageing CALD communities through the development of resources and presentations targeted at university students undertaking studies in health and allied health at seven universities in Queensland.
Diversicare, Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland - This project will ensure that communities are given the information about access to all aged care services available that are appropriate to their needs and educate on the issues that affect the health and ageing process. This will be achieved through Diversicare's Special Project Development Services (SPDS) team delivering tailored information sessions to CALD communities that currently receive little to no information sessions. There will also be a focus on understanding the aged care system and support services targeted at specific cultures identified as emerging communities.
North East Multicultural Association - This project aims to improve access to information about aged care services and encourage CALD communities in regional and rural Victoria to lead active and healthy lives. CALD communities and aged care providers will be supported through the development and dissemination of information and promotional materials, cultural briefings and participation in active ageing programs.
Multicultural Aged Care Services Geelong - This project will develop content for, and deliver workshops to, staff and volunteers to assist them in coping with the unpredictability of individuals with dementia in the workplace, and includes a CALD specific handbook and the establishment of support groups for family members.
Ethnic Broadcasting Association of Queensland - This project will use the large network of ethnic community radio stations around Australia to provide older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities with relevant and translated information promoting healthy and active ageing. The project will broadcast content in six community languages over a period of two years, promoting access to aged care services, healthy ageing, and engagement in social and other activities for older people from CALD backgrounds. Printed and audio material will also be developed and distributed to CALD community organisations, seniors groups and aged care services.