The federal government has launched a radio initiative designed to provide access to aged care information to around 50,000 culturally diverse seniors and their families each week.

Launching the $1 million project on Wednesday, aged care minister Ken Wyatt said the Speak My Language project would play a vital role in keeping multicultural communities informed about aged care options.

The broadcasts aim to eventually target 25 groups, starting with Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Hindi and Arabic language programs.

The initiative will involve 160 bilingual aged care facilitators and ethnic radio programs in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT and also includes online resources and links to aged care providers that offer services for ethnic groups.

My Wyatt said navigating the aged care system could be daunting for anyone, but particularly for those from diverse backgrounds.

“Cultural diversity in our aged care system is set to increase in future years. With 45 per cent of Australians born overseas, or with at least one parent who was, multicultural Australia has become contemporary mainstream Australia,” Minister Wyatt said in a statement.

“It is essential that this diversity is reflected in how we deliver aged care now and in the future.”

The initiative is being funded from the Commonwealth’s Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund and is being coordinated by the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW.

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