Older people in Victoria’s Vietnamese and Indo-Chinese communities will get better targeted and more culturally responsive care packages with the launch of a new initiative by Australian Unity and newly established community service provider Multicultural Care Assist (MCA).

Kevin McCoy

MCA was established to work in collaboration with Australian Unity to improve access to aged care services by these groups, Australian Unity CEO for Independent and Assisted Living Kevin McCoy told Community Care Review.

McCoy says many of the older people within these communities, some of whom had fled Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao after the Vietnam War, had limited understanding of government services and the new partnership would boost their health literacy and help them access services within My Aged Care and the NDIS.

Almost 40 per cent of the Vietnamese population is now aged over 50, and 56-per cent have limited English he says.

“The partnership will address specific care needs and cultural preferences in relation to diet and dietary restrictions, language, cultural-specific values and activities and events related to cultural traditions.

“MCA will identify service gaps in the Vietnamese and Indo-Chinese community and work in collaboration with Australian Unity to develop a culturally and linguistically appropriate home care services including domestic assistance, personal care, social assistance and respite care services.

Australian Unity will provide MCA with capacity-building support, including business development and resourcing, developing and training a culturally responsive workforce.

The initiative comes after research by Australian Unity and National Seniors research earlier this year found a need for better digital literacy training to access information on aged care services

Service provision under the new partnership is expected to begin in mid-February or early March.

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