Working with diverse groups in aged care

Australia’s senior population reflects the country’s diversity. Learn about how to care for diverse groups and how care providers are meeting their specific needs.

How do we care for diverse groups?

Aged care services should be appropriate, accessible and sensitive to the individual needs of all older Australians.

The Aged Care Diversity Framework provides guidance for an accessible aged care system for every care recipient.

The Diversity Framework considers people who are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • living in rural or remote areas
  • financially or socially disadvantaged
  • veterans
  • experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless
  • care leavers
  • parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
  • experiencing mental health problems and mental illness
  • living with cognitive impairment including dementia
  • living with disability

Aged Care Diversity Framework

This framework was launched in December 2017. It sets out the actions we can take to make sure aged care services meet the needs of people from diverse backgrounds. It sees a role for the Australian Government, peak organisations, representative groups, service providers, consumers and carers.

Caring for diverse groups action plans

Standard 1 of the Aged Care Quality Standards requires providers to treat all aged care recipients with dignity and respect, and value their identity, culture and diversity.

Aged care providers must meet care recipients’  needs on an individual basis.

A range of action plans assist providers to create an inclusive environment for older people:

  • Actions to Support Older Culturally and Linguistically Diverse People
  • Actions to Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Actions to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse and Intersex Elders
  • Shared Actions to Support all Diverse Older People

Aged Care Diversity Framework action plans

This collection includes action plans to address the needs of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, senior Australians from CALD backgrounds and LGBTI elders. It also includes a government action plan and a shared action plan which outlines actions to support all diverse groups.

Resources

The following resources are for working with consumers from diverse backgrounds.

People from CALD backgrounds

People from CALD backgrounds make up a large number of people in aged care, with 1 in 3 born overseas.

Training and information on caring for CALD people is available through the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) program. There is a PICAC organisation in each state and territory.

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing also has resources on caring for older people from CALD backgrounds.

LGBTI elders

In addition to the Actions to Support LGBTI Elders: A Guide for Aged Care Providers, the following resources can help you learn more about supporting LGBTI elders:

Care leavers

A care leaver is someone who was in institutional or other out-of-home care as a child, including:

  • Forgotten Australians
  • Former Child Migrants
  • Stolen Generations

The Caring for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations Information Package:

  • shows how early life experiences can affect older people receiving care
  • helps care providers respond to care leavers’ needs

You can also watch the video on caring for Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders

In addition to the Actions to Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: A Guide for Aged Care Providers, learn more about supporting elders through the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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