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Additional $9.67M funding for CALD seniors accessing respite

The Federal Government has released an additional $9.67 million per year over two years to provide older Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with tailored respite care through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

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This additional funding will support CALD older Australians to continue living independently and safely in their own homes and local communities. [Source: iStock]

The grant funding, originally a committed $20 million for 2020-21 and 2021-22, covered the increase to capacity for CHSP providers to supply diverse Centre Based Respite services and provide more support and choice of services to older Australians from CALD backgrounds and their carers.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, says the additional funding would support CALD older Australians to live independently and safely in their own homes and local communities and provide respite for carers.

"Forty aged and disability care providers will deliver the additional Centre Based Respite services to older Australians from multicultural communities, including those from Chinese, Italian, Greek, Polish, Russian, and Indian backgrounds, to name a few,” says Minister Colbeck.

"Importantly, the Government is directing the extra funding to those areas in most need across the country, where there are service gaps and the highest level of demand."

Centre Based Respite services provide group activities to older people that ease isolation and encourage social interaction, group excursions and meals.

Carers and family members can either take part in the activities or leave the older person in the care of the provider so they can undertake personal errands and rest from their caring duties.

Minister Colbeck says, "Social isolation was – and is – a very real problem for older Australians during the pandemic.

"Language barriers and cultural differences have made it even harder for people from diverse backgrounds.

"It’s important the additional services on offer focus on tailored support and programs that are suited to the needs of these seniors, and the needs of their communities."

All service providers are required to be as responsive as possible to requests from older Australians and their carers for short-term or non-ongoing respite.

To access respite services, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and arrange an assessment.

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