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Inclusivity in aged care at the heart of new Framework

A change of era in aged care has been marked with the release of the more inclusive Aged Care Diversity Framework.

The government has release the new Aged Care Diversity Framework (Source: Twitter)
The government has release the new Aged Care Diversity Framework (Source: Twitter)

Released today, the framework, produced by an Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-Group with the help of community consultation, aims to see all senior Australians - no matter their background, location or life experience - receive aged care services to suit their individual needs.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt released the latest framework saying that it reflects the government's focus on customer engagement through personalisation of services, for everyone.

“This Framework will help the aged care sector identify what it can do to drive cultural and systemic improvements that take into account our diverse population,” he says.

“Any one person can belong to any number of diverse groups, which is why we have to focus on understanding and addressing individual needs.

“...it is essential that the diversity of race, religion, spirituality, language, sexuality, gender, economic status and personal experience across the broader population is [also] reflected in the aged care provision for senior Australians.”

The Framework has identified six priority areas including:

  • Making informed choices
  • Adopting systemic approaches to planning and implementation
  • Accessible care and support
  • Supporting a proactive and flexible system
  • Respectful and inclusive services
  • Meeting the needs of the most vulnerable

The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has come forward to say that the government’s release of the Framework is a “milestone in the care of older people from diverse backgrounds”.

FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos says the organisation was pleased to be part of the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-Group which produced the framework that will benefit people from CALD backgrounds with the issues they face as they age.

“In many cases, CALD Australians revert to their original language in older age, which presents major challenges for aged care providers and the staff who work in the facilities,” she says.

“Australians of all backgrounds deserve aged care that meets their needs and expectations

“FECCA was pleased to be part of the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-Group, which produced the Framework launched by the Minister for Aged Care.

“We look forward to continuing to bring our expertise in the care of CALD older Australians to the program.”

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt (Source: Department of Health)

Minister Wyatt says the Framework released will also support the more than 36 percent of seniors who were born outside of Australia.

He adds that under the Framework, and the priority areas it identifies, three action plans will be developed in the first half of 2018 to target particular barriers and challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, and people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ).

Options for other action plans, to address new priorities as they are identified, are also available through the new Framework.

“We know from experience that when some people who were born overseas grow older, they can revert back to using their mother tongue, which can be a challenge in aged care,” Minister Wyatt says.

“This Framework acknowledges this and will assist in ensuring these people receive the aged care they deserve.

“This Framework is intended to be used by all governments with responsibility for aged care policy and programs, peak organisations and aged care service providers.

“[It] is a significant document that will play an important role in the Government’s generational aged care reforms; reforms that will chart the future of our aged care system, to meet the needs and expectations of senior Australians.

“Armed with this Framework, we are on track for a new era that respects difference, and targets practical ways of making the most successful multicultural nation on Earth, even better for senior Australians.”

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