Above: Victorian Minister for Health, David Davis.

Victorian aged care providers have been invited to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help isolated seniors from diverse cultural backgrounds become more involved in their local community.

Applications for the grants opened this week, under the Victorian Government’s new Participation for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Seniors program.

Eligible organisations include aged care facilities, local councils, seniors clubs, ethnic community group, migrant resource centres and other community organisations, like those that are members of the Association of  Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres (ANHLC).

In announcing the grants, the Victorian Minister for Health, David Davis, said the Baillieu government was “committed to supporting seniors Victorians from all cultural backgrounds to live independent, active and healthy lives”.

“This grants program delivers on our $1.6 million election commitment to increase participation and access to services for isolated seniors from CALD backgrounds,” Mr Davis said.

The minister said being socially active is important for health and wellbeing and evidence shows that older people from CALD backgrounds can face a higher risk of social isolation. 

“We are working to create and expand opportunities for isolated older people from Victoria’s diverse cultural backgrounds to participate in the social life of their communities,” Mr Davis said.

“These grants could fund opportunities to better engage isolated seniors from CALD backgrounds in social activities such as cooking, music, gardening, outings, craft and exercise classes.”

Australian Institute for Health and Welfare data shows nearly one third of all Victorians over 65 years are from a CALD background.

 “The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) is working with the Government to implement the grants program and will provide assistance to grant applicants and recipients,” Mr Davis said.

The first round of grants closes on 27 April 2012.  Click here for more information about the grants, and the application form or contact the Victorian Department of Health, Ageing and Aged Care Branch, on (03) 9096 7389. 

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