“One size does not fit all in cultural diversity”

“Now it’s all about China and India”. So said Glenn from .id the population experts in his article 2011 Census – Australia’s changing multicultural mix (2012). He was referring to Australia’s largest countries of birth in 2011. Should aged care providers be worrying about this now? The answer is ‘yes’ because Chinese and Indian migration has been rapidly increasing since the 1980s. The elderly are now entering the aged care space in significant numbers. Those of us who have specialised in providing ethno-specific care over the past 40 years have become comfortable with clients who were born in non-English speaking countries in Europe. The chances are that we have come from a similar background ourselves and are familiar with the western languages, social mores, religions and food of our residents or home care recipients. Now that more people of Asian background are entering aged care, we need to adapt to their version of ethno-specific care. For me, this has been an interesting and challenging journey. I was recently introduced to an Indian organisation which wanted to establish a residential care facility for the Indian community but did not have the resources to do so. Consultation and demographics confirmed demand. MiCare rose to the occasion and offered to establish and run the service. Places and a vacant site were acquired. What followed next was an excursion into Indian culture which...

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