Nov 24, 2017

Diversity in Aged Care: Supporting Australia’s Multicultural Elderly

Australia is home to one of the most multicultural populations in the world. Almost a quarter of us were born overseas, and four million Australians speak a language other than English.

Most Australians are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who arrived over the last two centuries from more than 200 countries.

Regardless of background, life experience, culture, or sexuality, it’s important that aged care is appropriate, accessible, and sensitive to the diverse individual needs of older Australians.

Some older Australians with diverse needs find it difficult to access aged care information and services that are sensitive to their backgrounds and circumstances.

Released on 20 December 2012, the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from CALD Backgrounds (the CALD Strategy) has been developed to inform the way the Government responds to the needs of older people from CALD backgrounds and to better support the aged care sector to deliver care that is sensitive and appropriate to their needs.

Today, the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, released the findings of a review into how aged care services for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities are working around Australia.

“Supporting the aged care needs of senior Australians with diverse backgrounds is a Turnbull Government priority,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Whatever our background, life experience or culture it’s important that as we age we have appropriate, affordable and accessible aged care that suits our individual circumstances.”

“So many of the senior Australians who helped build this nation into one of the most prosperous and successful democracies in the world have culturally diverse backgrounds, and they must have access to an aged care system that understands and respects their needs.”

The CALD report details the experiences of a range of aged care stakeholders – providers, peak bodies and individuals – in implementing the strategy over the past five years, and outlines challenges for improvement in the future. Specific actions will be considered further.

“The findings in this report will help guide new policy so that aged care providers can deliver appropriate services and senior Australians, their families and carers can choose the quality care they deserve,” Minister Wyatt said.

“I want to thank the CALD Aged Care Strategy Working Group for their insight, expertise and commitment.

The CALD Aged Care Strategy Review will feed into the new Aged Care Diversity Framework, which is expected to be released in December.

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