Equal aged care access for multicultural communities
THE Morrison Government has today released Australia's first Aged Care Diversity Action Plan, to support older Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Australians to overcome barriers they may face in accessing aged care services.
Australia's diversity is one of our greatest strengths and as our population ages our Government is determined to ensure equal access to high-quality, culturally comfortable aged care for people of multicultural heritage.
Staying connected to your culture and being cared for by someone who understands your background, can make all the difference to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.
In 2016, there were 3.7 million Australians aged 65 years and over. Of this number, one-third were born in a non-English speaking country.
It may be a lack of awareness and knowledge of services available, concerns over the complexity of the aged care system, language barriers or lack of CALD appropriate aged care providers that prevent senior people from easily accessing the right aged care services.
This new Action Plan will help guide aged care recipients and their families, while assisting providers to ensure their services are inclusive and culturally safe for all consumers in their care.
The plan links to resources to help senior CALD people and families express their needs when communicating with aged care providers.
In addition, people working in aged care-doctors, nurses, support staff and allied health workers-will find it valuable to understand the perspectives of CALD people.
I thank the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia which held extensive consultations Australia wide.
FECCA consulted older people from CALD backgrounds, their families, advocates and representatives, carers, aged care providers, health professionals and other peak agencies.
Around 700 individuals provided extensive feedback which has further strengthened this plan.
Everyone in Australia has the right to access quality, inclusive and culturally safe aged care services that cater to their individual needs and respect their background and life experiences.
I thank the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-group for the passion, expertise and commitment its members have brought to this important project.
The CALD Action Plan is one of four distinct action plans developed under the Aged Care Diversity Framework.
The Aged Care Diversity Framework and the Aged Care Diversity CALD Action Plan is available at agedcare.health.gov.au.