Framing the way forward
Dementia Australia is committed to providing support, services and information to all people impacted by dementia, but just how well are we doing with providing that support to our communities with culturally diverse backgrounds, where English may not be their first language?
Given the multicultural nature of Australia, are we meeting the needs of our communities impacted by dementia, from diverse backgrounds?
To answer this important question Dementia Australia has engaged Hall and Partners, a specialist brand and communications research agency, to help us identify potential new opportunities to best build on the great work already being undertaken, to improve our reach and impact in this area even further.
We asked the specialists from Hall and Partners to undertake a national project, looking at how we can expand the work we are doing when it comes to our members of the community who have specific needs given their background. We wanted to find out how we can increase our connections with these communities and make sure the services we offer are reaching these communities and more importantly, are working well for these people.
Dementia Australia are keen to explore opportunities for our organisation to better engage with people from a variety of backgrounds, including people who may not speak English or who have rich cultural heritage based in countries other than Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as well as the LGBTI community and those who are impact by dementia and live in rural or remote areas.
To start the process Hall and Partners conducted a review to identify all resources and material Dementia Australia has produced for these groups across all states and territories. The good news is there are a multitude of extremely effective programs and activities being delivered across all jurisdictions, such as:
- Video resources featuring local community representatives talking about the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding dementia, in their own languages;
- A multicultural app for carers which is almost ready to be launched which will link care workers with resources relevant to their work with people living with dementia and their carers, specifically to the biggest language groups amongst the ageing population in Australia;
- Mobile respite response teams that are tailored to meet specific needs;
- Partnerships and linkages with National Multicultural Festivals to increase awareness about dementia to targeted diverse communities;
- Link workers who act as Dementia Advisors for the Syrian, Croatian and Cambodian communities.
Dementia Australia is looking forward to this report providing recommendations to enable us to develop well-planned and integrated strategies to build capacity across Australia for our culturally and linguistically diverse communities impacted by dementia.
Our aim is to harnesses our pre-existing skills and partnerships that have been identified with individuals, groups and organisations to build on these relationships which are underpinned by trust and respect to ensure the services and programs we deliver genuinely meet the needs and aspirations of all those living with dementia and their families and carers from culturally diverse and linguistically diverse communities across Australia.