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PICAC Alliance launches position paper in response to Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report

23 Jun 2021

In response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s ‘Final Report: Care, Dignity and Respect’, a unified national body Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) recommends ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion training to ensure an inclusive workforce and improve aged care. The PICAC Alliance program has been funded by the Department of Health (the Department) since 1997 to support the provision of culturally appropriate aged and community care for older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

“We are facing a rapidly growing older culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population and culturally appropriate services are essential to cover their needs. The training must encompass key aspects like palliative care, dementia care and mental health, with CALD perspectives embedded as a core framework” (Jim Buultjens, PICAC NSW & ACT).

“We have the Aged Care Diversity Framework, and providers need support for it to be implemented at all levels of the organization and integrated into every-day practice so that that social, cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are met” (Lisa Tribuzio, PICAC Victoria).

The PICAC Alliance supports the recommendation of mandating and integrating the Diversity Framework and Action Plans, and the principles they represent, within the newly designed governance structure. The mandating of the diversity framework and action plan would require additional capacity building support for providers such as through the continuation of the PICAC program.

Obligatory cultural competency training for service providers is one of the recommendations put forward by the PICAC Alliance to improve service delivery in the Aged Care system.

While there are similarities like value and importance of culture, we need to acknowledge that the needs and interests of older people from immigrant backgrounds are often different to those of First Nation Australians” (Michelle Jenkins, PICAC WA).

The PICAC Alliance suggests broadening the current aged care training requirements which includes ‘cultural safety’ and ‘trauma informed practices’ from Indigenous perspectives, to also bring in the perspectives of people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

In line with recommendations by the Commission, the PICAC Alliance call for increased funding to Home Care Packages to reduce the long waiting list and for the government to maintain the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) in particular social groups, to ensure that CALD communities are provided for.

“One in three people aged over 65 years in Australia are from a non-English speaking country. As they have a relatively lower uptake of residential aged care than other older people and prefer to age at home, services such as social groups where they meet people who speak their own language are essential for their wellbeing and sense of belonging and allow for more choice and control” (Agnieszka Chudecka, PICAC SA).

The PICAC Alliance strongly supports the Commission’s recommendation for a new Aged Care Act to be established, with a focus on the protection and promotion of the rights of older people.

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MEDIA CONTACT

James (Jim) Buultjens

Strategic Partnerships Manager (NSW & ACT), Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra

4229 7566  |

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