Jun 18, 2024

How positive cultural connections helped Maria embrace home care services

Maria 2
How positive cultural connections helped Maria embrace home care services

Our cultural heritage is always important, but it arguably becomes increasingly influential as we age. Why? For many their culture or religion produces a sense of identity and belonging, and it’s what connects them to family, friends and their community.

Nurturing and supporting cultural identity is essential for a positive aged care experience, too. Home care clients and aged care residents want to know they’re cared for by an organisation that understands their culture, beliefs and values.

Maria Gentile has received home care services from Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS) since September 2023.

She immigrated to Australia from Italy with her parents 64 years ago as a teenager, before settling into life down under as a dressmaker in an atelier (studio) where custom handcrafted ballet tutus were made. 

Maria was dedicated to her craft, and later started a family and looked after her children while still working as a seamstress.

Now that she’s older, Maria needs a little help of her own around the house to help her maintain a level of independence. While finding a home care provider might be a relatively easy task for some, Maria primarily speaks in Italian, so finding a care provider she can communicate with easily was essential. 

That’s why she feels so comfortable with AMCS, a specialist multicultural home care service provider who knows their clients want to be supported by carers who understand their unique needs. 

“The relationship with my Care Advisor is special because I can finally speak in my language and express myself better. That helps me to feel more independent and to make my own decisions,” Maria told HelloCare.

Maria 1

“My daughter was assisting to communicate with another provider in the past and many things were lost in translation. I am a very private person and my Care Advisor encouraged me to start with a personal care service. I am very grateful for that, for the wonderful assistance that I didn’t have before.”

Maria’s Italian heritage plays a vital role in her life; she has been a Club Italia member for 32 years, regularly catching up with friends in Sunshine, Melbourne. But she has also branched out by participating in activities and outings organised by the AMCS Social Support Group. 

This is because of a growing comfort with AMCS that has helped her take on new experiences. Maria told HelloCare she is grateful for the respect and assistance that her care provider gives her, particularly after some disappointing experiences with another organisation. 

“I had been with another provider for 13 years and only now I can see a big difference in care and promptness to assist my needs. I feel more comfortable receiving personal care as my Support Worker is very experienced and at the same time compassionate and gentle. I am treated with respect and kindness and that is what another provider was lacking,” she said.

She also thanked AMCS for always promptly responding to her needs and providing all-round care that helps keep her in the family home with her husband.

Maria and husband

In finding a home care provider where she feels more comfortable, Maria has also discovered the joys of seeing both emotional and physical care prioritised. She is supported by AMCS staff who recognise what she needs and enjoys for her emotional wellbeing. 

“I am treated by my care workers with humaneness, respect and that makes me happy. My care workers are always ready to listen, comfort me and cheer me up when I am feeling down,” she added.

“We get along so well because we have good communication and understanding. It is more like a friendship instead.”

This is the kind of care we should all look forward to and aspire for as we get older.

If you would like to know more about AMCS, visit amcservices.org.au.

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