New Era for Diversity in Aged Care

on the Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Australian Government has released Australia’s latest Aged Care Diversity Framework, signalling a new, more inclusive era in aged care.

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said all seniors in Australia - no matter what their background, location or life experience – should receive aged care services that suit their individual needs.

“This is part of our focus on customer engagement through the personalisation of services, not for the majority of seniors in our communities, but for everyone,” Minister Wyatt said.

“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. 

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

The Framework’s six priority areas are:

    1. Making informed choices
    2. Adopting systemic approaches to planning and implementation
    3. Accessible care and support
    4. Supporting a proactive and flexible system
    5. Respectful and inclusive services
    6. Meeting the needs of the most vulnerable

Minister Wyatt said the new Framework would also support the more than 36 per cent of seniors who were born outside of Australia.

“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 said.

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

An Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-Group produced the Framework after broad community consultation.

“I thank all the members of the sub-group for their hard work and dedication,” said Minister Wyatt.

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

Under the Framework, 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, CALD communities, and people who identify as LGBTI.

The Framework is available on the Department of Health’s website.

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