Australia’s peak multicultural organisation has launched a program to connect people from CALD communities with appropriate aged care services and help inform the future Care Finders Program.

Mohammad Al-Khafaji

The EnCOMPASS Multicultural Aged Care Connector Program was launched by The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA) this month.

FECCA will deliver the program along with 22 partner organisations, including community care providers, ethnic and migrant community groups, and housing and womens’ advocacy organisations.

The program aims to provide navigational support to older CALD people and build capacity to engage with the aged care system.

Many older people from migrant backgrounds struggle with the complexity of the aged care system and are unable to access services, FECCA CEO Mohammad Al-Khafaji says.

“There are hundreds of distinct multicultural communities in Australia with their own ways of caring for elders. They are seeking the support that could help them navigate the complex system and respond to their cultural needs,” he said.

“EnCOMPASS partners have strong connection to community and they will work hard to ensure older persons from multicultural backgrounds can access aged care services when they need it.”

Accessing aged care

EnCOMPASS ‘connectors’ will support older people in accessing My Aged Care until they have a care plan in place and a referral to a preferred provider.

Older people will be supported regardless of level of need, and those who are already getting services but want to change the assistance they’re getting can also accesss the program.

The program will also hopefully develop a network of community leaders and touchpoints to champion aged care, and provide information about the issues and barriers preventing CALD people from accessing aged care system, FECCA says.

Care finders

Data from the program will be used to ensure the future Care Finders Program meets the needs of CALD communities.

The federal government has committed $7 million to extend aged care system navigator trials until 2023, when the longer term care finders program is set to begin.

The program will provide access to a network of up to 500 community care finders who will provide face to face assistance to access and navigate age care services and support at a local community level.

The EnCOMPASS program has received federal funding to operate in 30 high priority aged care planning regions across Australia until June 2023.

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