The federal government has launched a series of action plans to address barriers faced by older people from minority groups in accessing aged care and support.
The Aged Care Sector Diversity Sub-Group developed the four plans under the government’s diversity framework, which was established in 2017 to deliver respectful, inclusive and culturally appropriate care to diverse groups of older Australians.
The action plans, launched in Canberra by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt on February 14. cover Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, CALD groups and LGBTI elders, as well as a shared plan for older people with generally diverse characteristics and life experience.
The plan for the nation’s 100,000 senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is the first of its kind in Australia, Mr Wyatt said.
An action plan for older people who are at risk of homelessness is also being developed, the government says.
The plans set out steps to help meet the needs of minority group in both home and residential care based on informed choice, planning, accessibility, flexibility, respect and inclusion and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.
Identifying gaps and pathways
Dementia Australia, one of the 10 organisations represented on the Diversity Sub-Group, says the resources will help providers, peak bodies and governments ensure their services are inclusive and culturally safe.
Acting CEO Leanne Emerson says the action plans provide guidance on current performance and help identify gaps and pathways for better inclusion.
“The intent of the action plans is to support government, aged care providers, consumers, families and carers by focusing on solutions to address barriers affecting each group’s ability to access mainstream aged care services along with respectful and inclusive service provision,” Ms Emerson said.
Other groups who contributed to the development of the plans include the National LGBTI Alliance, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils.
A new national advocacy framework
Meanwhile Mr Wyatt also announced a new national advocacy framework, with the Older Persons Advocacy Network OPAN funded to deliver a nationwide aged care advocacy program (NACAP).
The program will be available to older people who are receiving government-funded residential and home care services and will operate alongside OPAN’s National Elder Abuse Prevention and Support Framework.
“It will help advocates in OPAN’s nine member organisations to provide even stronger support and protection of senior Australians’ rights,” the government said on Tuesday.
The advocacy framework targets people with dementia and disability as well as indigenous Australians, people in remote areas, socially disadvantaged groups and defence veterans.
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