Aged care goes ethno specific

Published: Wednesday 5th August 2015


Caption:  Rob Hankins from Ansell Strategic, IPPE's Dr Zhu Chen, Anthea Green from Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre, IPPE's Professor Alexander Yeung and Professor Lazar Stankov

Researchers from the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) are exploring the merit of ethno-specific aged care with industry partners who are leading service providers of aged care services in New South Wales and Victoria.

Professor Alexander Yeung, Professor Lazar Stankov, and Dr Zhu Chen of IPPE are working with Rob Hankins (Ansell Strategic), Anthea Green (Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre), Robert van Duuren and Margaret Oudendijk (DutchCare), Agnes Mak and Fleur Hourihan (UnitingCare Ageing), Chris Rigby (Scalabrini Village), and Fr Nicolas (St Basils) to examine the benefits of placing aged care residents together within their ethnic group members. Through surveys and interviews, these elderly people in ethno-specific settings will be compared to others in mainstream, multicultural service settings.

A recent report to the Federation of Ethnic Councils of Australia (FECCA) entitled Review of Australian Research on Older People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (March, 2015) concludes that: “Research into older people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds highlights that many older CALD Australians have higher levels of disadvantage and other risk factors than older Anglo-Australians, and that these factors may affect their ageing experience in Australia.

"The life course of migrants from CALD backgrounds, including migration circumstances, and the extent to which cultural traditions are maintained, play a role in health and wellbeing for older people from CALD backgrounds. Language and cultural issues emerged as a common source of difficulty.”

The research led by Professors Alex Yeung and Lazar Stankov is designed to address critical issues outlined in the review by comparing the wellbeing status of older CALD Australians who are provided ethno-specific aged care services with those older CALD Australians in the mainstream Anglo-Australian conditions of care.

This research will open up new directions for aged care services in Australia and worldwide, and will inform future developments and provisions of quality aged care services from an ethno-specific perspective.