Meeting Multicultural Needs
It is estimated that by 2026 one in every four people aged 80 years and over will be from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The growth in number of older Australians from CALD backgrounds is faster than the growth of the older population as a whole, largely because of the ageing post-war migrants who arrived as adults. These individuals and all older CALD community members will experience different cultural needs, language requirements, reasons for migration, length of time in Australia, experiences of settlement, age, sex, religion, income, socio-economic status and geographic location which will, in turn, influence their need, experience and expectations of aged care services.
The Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Social Services to improve the capacity of aged care services to respond to these differing needs of older people from CALD communities.
Seeking to equip aged care service providers to deliver culturally appropriate care to older people from CALD communities,
- High quality cultural resources
- Culturally appropriate professional development
- Useful and applicable research and demographic data
- Networks and consultation opportunities with
- Initiating and maintaining partnerships with organisations
that are funded through Aged Care Service Improvement
and Healthy Ageing Grant (ACSIHAG) program in order to provide and promote best practice and quality in culturally appropriate care.
Older people from CALD backgrounds experience specific barriers when accessing aged care services. These barriers may include language, access to information, culture and religion. As a result, the Australian Government has identified these communities as special needs groups, under aged care legislation (Aged Care Act 1997). The Commonwealth Department of Social Services has responded to these needs by funding organisations under the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund.
The ACSIHAG fund supports activities that promote healthy and active ageing, respond to existing & emerging ageing challenges including dementia care, and better support those services targeting people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
ACSIHAG funded organisations employ project officers to work with target CALD communities to promote and facilitate increased and sustained access by CALD communities with significant aged care needs to access aged care support services.
ACSIHAG funded organisations can offer the CALD
- Education and information sessions on the range of aged
- Improved access to aged care services through identification and removal of barriers
- Information and resources in community languages.
ACSIHAG funded organisations can offer aged care
- Links with local CALD communities
- Information on the needs of older persons from
- Advice on developing strategies for culturally appropriate care
- Cultural briefings and information sessions
- Links to CALD resources and networks.
PICAC NSW and ACT is funded by the Department of Social Services and is auspiced by the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra Inc.