Aged-Care Plan Promised for Culturally Diverse Australians
12 June 2012 at 9:19 am
The Federal Government has announced its intention to release a plan that specifically caters to the needs of older Australians from diverse backgrounds.
Minister for Ageing Mark Butler said at the ‘Cultural Diversity in Ageing’ conference in Melbourne that he plans to release a “CALD specific aged care strategy” before the end of the year.
“The [strategy] we currently have was written in 1995 and almost two decades on I think it's beyond time for us to update it, and make sure that it meets the needs and challenges of the 21st century,” Butler said.
The new strategy will aim to assist older people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) to stay in their homes longer.
The plans form part of the Federal Government's Living Longer Living Better aged-care package.
The new strategy, according to Butler, will inform how the Living Longer Living Better reforms – that relate to CALD communities – are delivered in practice.
“There is a $25 million diversity fund that sits on top of existing grants programs for aged care,” Butler said.
“This fund is particularly targeted at improving the aged care sector's capacity to deal with diversity and the largest group of diversity is cultural and linguistic diversity.
“So, how we're going to design the guidelines for that program is something I want dealt with in this aged care strategy.”
He added that CALD older Australians are about 25 per cent less likely than Anglo older Australians to use residential care.
“Shifting the system to a focus on home care is a shift that will reflect the preferences of older Australians from a CALD background,” he said.
Butler said he looks forward to working with Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council Australia (FECCA) and other aged care organisations to deliver better services to all older Australians.