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Culturally Specific Environments

Our food, music, special cultural celebrations and languages can provide this comfort and confirm our individual identity.

It is estimated one in every five people aged 80 years and over is from a CALD background. By 2026, this ratio is expected to rise to one in every four.

People from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds often require aged care services sensitive to their specific cultural, spiritual, dietary and linguistic needs. This type of care becomes especially important for CALD older people because they may gradually forget English and revert to their ‘mother tongue’.

The negative effects of ageing, through loss and diminished responsibilities, can frequently lead to the devalued status of older and frail aged people. Barriers such as language and cultural misunderstanding, which is sometimes experienced by older CALD people, can lead to an even greater devaluation.

Who can understand my care needs?

Many adult children may not be able to communicate well enough in their parents’ first languages to support decisions about health care; this is where bilingual/bicultural staff can help these residents live independently in safety and with dignity.

There are organisations in Australia which offer aged care service providers specialist education, multilingual resources and – sometimes at no charge – advice to meet the care needs of their CALD clients and residents.

Where can I find more information on ethno-specific care?

Our website contains a comprehensive list of ethnicity-specific residential and home and community care services in Australia. You can see a list of ethnic specific nursing homes or Ethnic Specific Home Care Packages by opening the filters and selecting a Cultural Environment.

Providers of multicultural translation, interpreting & information services are also profiled on this website. Alternatively, you can order a copy of the DPS Guide to Aged Care for a list of multicultural residential and community service providers in your state or territory.

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