Australian Unity will use $100,000 provided by the Victorian government to launch a program targeting ageing members of emerging CALD communities
The Community Participation for Seniors from Emerging Communities program is designed to improve access to transport, services and support for seniors from emerging CALD communities, which were recently the subject of Australia’s first research in this area.
Victorian minister for ageing and disability Martin Foley announced the funding in July, saying it would help tackle social isolation and loneliness.
Australian Unity, which provides home care services to around 52,000 Australians, officially launched the program this week.
The 12 month program will target more than 900 community members across Filipino, Karen, Afghanistan, Ethiopian, Somali and Sudanese communities.
What the emerging communities participation program involves:
- Support to register online for a seniors card
- Subsidised public transport and support creating and using a myki account
- Interpreter services
- Information about energy and utilities concessions
The initiative follows a report which found a need for better digital literacy training to access information on aged care.
CEO for independent and assisted living Kevin McCoy said the research had shown that older people, particularly those in recently arrived migrant communities, struggled to understand government services.
“Research conducted in conjunction with National Seniors earlier this year improved our understanding of the needs of seniors from CALD backgrounds and highlighted the impacts these seniors experience when accessing aged care, particularly when it requires a high level of digital literacy,” he told Community Care Review.
“For many of these seniors, English is their second language and they often feel isolated from their community because they lack the confidence and knowledge of the services available to them.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the government on this important program.”