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Cultural connections for carers

Not-for-profit aged and disability services organisation, Villa Maria, is reaching out to carers in the Chinese community to let them know support is at hand. Villa Maria has partnered with Rejoice Community Centre to host a carers’ function for Chinese residents on Wednesday, 14 November in Victoria’s Box Hill.
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Not-for-profit aged and disability services organisation, Villa Maria, is reaching out to carers in the Chinese community to let them know support is at hand.

Villa Maria has partnered with Rejoice Community Centre to host a carers’ function for Chinese residents in Whitehorse, Manningham, Monash and Knox on Wednesday, 14 November in Victoria’s Box Hill.

While Villa Maria has long provided support to hundreds of carers across the eastern region through short term case management, respite, social support, and education and allied health support, it is the first time the organisation has specifically targeted people from the Chinese community.

Angela Ng, (pictured left with Lily Chow), is the team leader at Villa Maria’s White Road Activity and Respite Centre in Wantirna, and is organising the function. She said it was part of a long term goal to provide targeted support to more culturally diverse groups, particularly in areas where there is a real need.

In Monash and Whitehorse, the largest non-English speaking group of residents were born in China, with 8.1% (13,764 people) and 7.3% (11,048 people) respectively. 

While in Knox and Manningham, people of Chinese ancestry are within the top five resident groups with 7.6% and 5.9%.

Ms Ng, who emigrated from Hong Kong about 20 years ago, said carer support and services were a new concept to Chinese people.

“Generally, husbands, wives and children who care for their loved ones who may be frail-aged, have dementia or a disability look upon the role as their obligation and not something they should get support for. 

“For example, children who care for an older parent may feel uncomfortable to access respite to go out and do their shopping or just have a short break, because it means they’re not being a ‘good child’,” Ms Ng said.

Rejoice Community Centre secretary, Lily Chow, said she saw many Chinese migrants, seniors and carers who had no knowledge of what help was available.

The Carer's Function for Chinese Community is open to carers from Chinese backgrounds who look after someone over the age of 65 residing in the eastern region. It will run from 10am to 2pm at St Paul’s Lutheran Church at 711 Station Street, Box Hill. For more information, contact Villa Maria.

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