IN-LANGUAGE SUPPORT: Members of the Senior Iraqi Group from Fairfield in NSW, with Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, at the launch of Speak My Language.
IN-LANGUAGE SUPPORT: Members of the Senior Iraqi Group from Fairfield in NSW, with Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, at the launch of Speak My Language.

Community radio steps in to inform CALD seniors

SPEAK My Language is a new radio broadcast program aimed at informing seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) and their carers about aged care issues.

The program will use 80 ethnic community radio stations NSW, Queensland, Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania. It will be available in Chinese, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Macedonian, Serbian, Turkish, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Vietnamese, Khmer, Tagalog, Arabic, Polish, Samoan, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Bengali, Portuguese, Dari, Nepalese, Tongan and Thai.

Through Speak My Language CALD seniors will be able to tell and listen to stories in their own language.

It is expected these in-language conversations will help CALD seniors to connect with members of their community, share strategies to overcome ageing barriers including isolation and difficulties to access the assistance they need, and come to understand better Australia's aged care system and services.

Some of the topics to be discussed on air will be ageing well in Australia, My Aged Care, the Commonwealth Home Support Program, understanding assessments, carers, complains, dementia, elder abuse and future planning.

Speak My Language has been developed by the Ethnic Communities' Council of NSW and funded by the Federal Government.

The chair of the Council, Mrs Marta Terracciano said, "By harnessing the power of ethnic radio, Speak My Language can beam live on air to reach thousands of isolated seniors and families who have yet to be reached or assisted with the aged care service system”.

Research done by the Council in 2016 and 2017 found that a high percentage of CALD seniors hadn't heard about My Aged Care. Over 73 per cent of them said they weren't confident in using the phone to seek age care support due to language and cultural barriers. It was also reported that, even though over 70 per cent were aware of translation services, less than 27 per cent were accessing them.

To find out more about the podcasts, seniors should contact their local ethnic radio station to find out if it is participating or go online and search by language and state at www.speakmylanguageradio.com.


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