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Policy and Research on CALD Ageing and Integration

We value evidence based decision-making

Fronditha Care’s policy and research framework

Fronditha Care employs a Policy and Research Officer, Dr. Vedran Vranic, to support the work of the Board, CEO and Policy and Research Committee. Policy and research helps us to support evidence based decision-making and governance amongst management and Board of Directors. We aim to ensure that, at all times, our policies and practices are informed by best-practice research. Fronditha Care’s policy and research framework is based on the needs of culturally diverse communities and the needs of ageing Greeks especially. The framework is further guided by the social welfare inequities and problems in the areas of CALD ageing and integration.

  •  Key research priorities in CALD ageing and integration – click here to view or download
  • Literature review of research on CALD ageing and integration – click here to view or download
  • Commonly used terms in CALD ageing and integration research – click here  to view or download
  • Fronditha Care’s research scholarship in CALD ageing and integration – click here to view or download

CALD ageing and integration

Older adults from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds are identified by the Australian Government as belonging to special needs groups, facing unique challenges associated with ageing in a foreign land. A shortage of bilingual carers, nurses and culturally responsive providers, means in many areas of Australia, access to appropriate aged care services is limited. The difficulty in communicating needs to carers who do not understand their client’s language means that important ageing needs are often not accurately assessed or adequately met.

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Due to cultural and linguistic differences, older adults from CALD backgrounds are more isolated and lonely in both community and residential aged care environments. Factors that they attribute to their very identity, including cultural food menus, spiritual and traditional activities and celebrations, are commonly disregarded or forgotten in the delivery of aged care services. Research evidence suggests that up to 40 per cent of older adults from CALD backgrounds have symptoms of moderate to high levels of depression and anxiety. Prevalence rates of over 60 per cent are reported in residential aged care facilities. Depression, anxiety, isolation and loneliness should not be viewed as a normal part of ageing, despite present state of affairs. Policy makers and service providers can do better.

The few providers that successfully tailor aged care services to meet important cultural and linguistic needs face long waiting lists. Long waiting lists for admission cause significant strain on the families of older adults and on the rapidly growing number of dementia sufferers. This is especially problematic in the modern Australian context, where 22 per cent of people over the age of 65 are from non-English-speaking countries.

The above outlined problems and the many associated challenges are shared by CALD communities in all multicultural countries with ageing populations. With global research implications on the policy and practice of CALD ageing and integration, there is a surprising scarcity of research in the area. To help ensure progress, our work over the last three years has lead to a policy and research framework, outlined above, and the establishment of an evidence base of up-to-date information and research on CALD ageing and integration. The cornerstone of the framework is the literature review and newly established research scholarship (please refer to (2) and (4) above). All post-graduate research students in Victorian universities are eligible to apply, with the scholarship aiming to help cover added costs of working with CALD communities, including the costs of quality translation and interpretation, amongst others.

Evidence base and information to support the work of ageing CALD communities and the aged care industryIn search of an online collection of accessible, reliable, evidence based information about CALD ageing and integration, we found separate collections on the websites of the:

  1. Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia
  2. Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria
  3. National Ageing Research Institute
  4. Victorian Multicultural Commission
  5. Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing
  6. Multicultural Aged Care
  7. Australian Multicultural Foundation
  8. Alzheimer’s/Dementia Australia
  9. Council on the Ageing Australia
  10. Carers Australia
  11. Department of Health

Drawing on these sources, in addition to our own internal research, Fronditha Care now provides a collection of accessible, reliable and evidence based information for everyone interested in the welfare of ageing CALD communities and ageing persons more broadly. Just below, you can access our entire collection of research evidence, written documents and advice on CALD ageing and broader aged care.

How you can support our research, practice and dissemination of information

To continue contributing toward a better and more integrated Australian aged care system, we need your support. High costs of doing research on ageing CALD communities, including added costs of translation and interpretation, stifle research progress. In-turn, policy continues to lag behind.  Being a not-for-profit organisation often means that the implementation of newly researched services and interventions is beyond our budget. There are many ways you may help us expand our research or help  us translate research into practice and disseminate further information. To discuss potential support or collaboration, please contact our Policy and Research officer – Dr. Vedran Vranic – directly on (03) 9552 4172 or M: 0405 314 785 (Mon-Wed).

Ongoing updates and additions to this webpage

This webpage and the downloadable reports and information available herein will continue to be updated throughout 2018. We aim to ensure the ongoing dissemination of up-to-date research evidence and information on CALD ageing and integration.

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Volunteers are important to the happiness and wellbeing of Fronditha Care’s residents and clients. They become familiar faces with regular visits and break up the day for the elderly.

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