Aged care has historically been a multicultural industry and Australians pride ourselves on our welcoming nature and multiculturalism. However, there are limitations in our care system that see staff and fellow residents lack understanding of different cultures – meaning care is not as person-centred as it could be. This is due to a lack of educational programs in Australia that focus on training aged care staff to cater to older people from diverse communities.
With this feedback in mind, Settlement Services International (SSI) has launched a new learning program for aged care workers on culturally safe service for older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds as a way to boost health outcomes and quality of life.
With a target of training 14,600 people within 18 months, the Culturally Responsive Support in Aged Care program aims to help unlock the proven benefits of this person-centred approach for Australia’s ageing population by significantly raising the skill level of direct care workers in interacting with CALD older people.
This will hopefully see fewer barriers for clients accessing healthcare, an increase in customer satisfaction and business performance for aged care providers, and improved retention of direct care workers within the short-staffed industry.
The online program is delivered in seven accessible e-learning lessons, which can be completed on any laptop or mobile device in approximately 90 minutes.
These are some of the commonly experienced cultural misunderstandings aged care staff should be aware of. Do any of them sound familiar?
Janet Irvine, SSI Diversity Training Manager, said cultural misunderstandings are always a risk when two people come together.
“Culturally responsive support is about acknowledging that we all have our own cultural perspectives. It requires us to be more self-aware of our own culture and careful not to impose it on others, and being open to learning about the client we are caring for so that we can help them to feel valued, respected and safe.”
The program is available free of charge to participants in the Government-funded Home Care Workforce Support Program, with a flexible paid option for aged care providers. A variety of customisable plans are available for small and large teams, organisations, or providers seeking ‘blended’ learning with in-person workshops to further extend learning outcomes.
Preview the program for the aged care sector here.
For more tips on providing culturally appropriate care, click here.