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Consultation underway on expanded aged care diversity strategy

The Federal Government is urging aged care service providers, peak bodies and consumers to have their say on the development of a new framework for delivering care to older Australians with diverse needs.

Since 2012, specific ageing and aged care strategies have been in place for older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) seniors.

As reported by AAA in January, these two strategies are set to be replaced with a broader Aged Care Diversity Framework.

The Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the principles-based framework would be underpinned by separate “action plans” for CALD, LGBTI and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people to ensure their specific needs are addressed by the aged care system.

Expanding the framework to other groups such as rural and remote, disability, care leavers, veterans and people experiencing homelessness will also be considered as part of the framework’s development, Mr Wyatt said on Monday.

The new framework, which is due to be in place by the end of the year, should be informed by a review of the achievements and lessons from the two existing diversity strategies, he said.

An online survey is now open and the sector has been invited to make a written submission to the review.

“Filling out the survey is an opportunity for everyone to put their views and help shape aged care for people with diverse needs,” Mr Wyatt said.

“I encourage people to fill out the survey specific to their needs, or to provide a more detailed submission outlining areas where the strategies have been successful, and where more could be done.”

Mr Wyatt has been meeting regularly with representatives from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and the National LGBTI Health Alliance as part of the framework’s development.

The survey closes 28 April and more detailed submissions are due 12 May.

For more information on the CALD and LGBTI aged care strategies review and to provide feedback, visit the Department of Health’s website.

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