Cultura: A new app set to revolutionise culturally sensitive dementia care

Dementia Australia SA has launched ground-breaking multicultural smartphone app ‘Cultura’, developed to support health professionals in the provision of culturally sensitive dementia care.

The app provides general cultural information, as well as prompts for consideration when adapting approaches to care, in order to accommodate the individual cultural needs of people living with dementia.

Kathryn Quintel, Chief Executive Officer of Dementia Australia SA and app initiator said, one of Australia’s greatest attributes is its multicultural make-up, and the fabulous mix of cultures that brings colour, variety and acceptance into our lives. 

“Our aim is to provide a high-quality of life with meaning, purpose and value for every person living with dementia and, above all, respect. In order to deliver that, we need to enable health professionals to provide optimum support,” Ms Quintel said.

“With Australia’s steadily increasing ageing population, it follows that there will be an increasing number of people from culturally diverse backgrounds living with dementia.

“With professional carers also coming from a variety of different backgrounds, it is highly likely that a person with dementia will be supported by somebody from a different culture. For that reason, a thorough understanding amongst care workers of the support needs associated with a range of cultures is vital.”

The free-of-charge app allows quick and easy access to a range of information and resources that have been identified as critical to enabling culturally appropriate care.

The app focuses on twenty-one different cultures, and details general information, cultural and dementia care tips, and resources covering twenty-eight different topics including religion, communication style, food and diet. It provides information that can be used in discussion with the care recipient and their families to best determine their distinct cultural needs. 

The ‘Cultura Care Model’, which is housed within the app, highlights examples of best practice in the provision of person-centred dementia care.

The app was created in partnership with app development company The Distillery, following extensive research, testing and feedback from community members and professionals. It has been funded by the Australian Government under the Aged Care and Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant.

Cultura is suitable for use on Android and iPhone mobile phones, as well as for use on tablets and computers, and is available in the App Store and on Google Play. 

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