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Aged Care Reform: Older Australians From Diverse Backgrounds

Age Care Reform: Older Australians From Diverse Backgrounds

As part of the Older Australians from Diverse Backgrounds stream of the Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package, the Australian Government announced consultation with groups representing people from diverse backgrounds to assess the requirement for the development of further tools and/or strategies to support their needs in aged care.

In mid-2012, Minister Butler committed to developing a National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Ageing and Aged Care Strategy and a National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds by the end of 2012.

In developing these Strategies, the Australian Government recognised the importance of strong stakeholder consultation processes and funded a series of national public and targeted consultations. These aimed to gather detailed feedback on the draft versions of the Strategies and to highlight any emerging issues and themes to inform their direction. Consultations were conducted in each capital city and various regional centres. This process was invaluable as it raised concerns and priority areas, as well as allowed the Government to hear, first hand, the personal experiences of members of the community and aged care sectors.

On 20 December 2012, the Australian Government launched the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Ageing and Aged Care Strategy and the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds.

These Strategies will help inform the way Government responds to the needs of older LGBTI people and older people from CALD backgrounds and better support the aged care sector to deliver care that is sensitive, appropriate and inclusive. They will also be used to guide future funding priorities by assisting the Department of Health and Ageing in implementing the activities outlined in the aged care reform package.

The Strategies contain five guiding principles:

  1. inclusion (rights and needs)
  2. empowerment
  3. access and equity
  4. quality; and
  5. capacity-building

In this context, capacity-building means, broadly:

  • people and communities are able to articulate their aged care needs; and
  • they are able to be fully involved, as the workforce and services are adapted and developed to meet their needs.

The principles are based on the Australian Government’s broad commitment to making the needs of LGBTI people and people from CALD backgrounds understood, respected and visible in all Australia’s aged care policies and programs. Implementation of the Strategies.

The strategies contain goals for implementation from 2012 to 2017. The Department of Health and Ageing will report progress against these
goals annually. A formal review of the Strategies will feed into the broader review in 2017 of the implementation of Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms.

The Australian Government looks forward to the implementation of these Strategies and their initiatives which will benefi t older LGBTI people and older people from CALD backgrounds into the future.

To view a copy of the strategies please select the link below:

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