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Friday, December 1, 2023

Aged care respite services bolstered for culturally diverse groups

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Older Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities across the country are set to access more tailored respite care.

The Federal Government will fund an additional $9.67 million per year over two years through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said the funding would support culturally and linguistically diverse senior 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,” Colbeck said in a media release.

“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 can include group activities to help ease isolation and encourage social interaction, group excursions, and meals. Carers and family members can take part in the activities or leave the older person in the care of the provider.

“Social isolation was – and is – a very real problem for older Australians during the pandemic,” Colbeck said.

“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.”

To access services, older Australians will need to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and arrange for a formal assessment of their care needs.

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.

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