Culturally Inclusive Aged Care

Culturally Inclusive Aged Care

The ‘Home Care Today’ project ran from 2013 to June 2017. COTA Australia continues to provide access to Home Care Today resources which were current at June 2017. However they are no longer monitored or updated, and information may not be current.

Australia is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD) are a significant and growing proportion of the Australian population aged over 65. They have made important contributions to the Australian community in helping build the prosperous and culturally rich country that we live in today. Around 20 per cent of people aged over 65 years were born outside Australia which equates to more than 600,000 people. By 2021, more than 30 per cent of Australia’s older population will have been born outside Australia.

Providing aged care services that are high quality, appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive and sensitive is vital to ensure all older people receive care which meets their unique needs.

Government Policy for approved providers

Approved Government providers of aged care services are required to provide services which are equitable and inclusive of and appropriate to the needs of older people including special needs groups.

All Home Care Packages are now provided using a consumer directed approach. This approach has its foundations in person-centred services where we recognise that every person is unique and has particular strengths, preferences and needs.  This arises from a person’s individual characteristics and experiences, as well as their cultural background and unique aspects of their identity.

In order that Home Care Package providers respond appropriately to diversity, the Commonwealth has identified a range of special needs groups within the Aged Care Act, including:

  • People from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • People who live in rural and remote areas
  •  People who are financially or socially disadvantaged
  • Veterans
  • People who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless
  • People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex
  • People who are care leavers
  • Parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal

Under a consumer directed approach to home care, consumers may request particular assistance that relates to their diverse needs.
Providers will be expected to be able to respond flexibly to these needs and preferences.

Below are a range of resources which can assist providers in ensuring they provide care to people which is culturally and linguistically responsive and appropriate.

Fact Sheets

These fact sheets provide some practical information and links to resources which can assist providers in providing culturally inclusive services

DOWNLOAD our printable: Fact Sheet for Providers working with people from CALD Background

DOWNLOAD our printable: Fact Sheet for Recruiting and Developing Staff to meet the needs of CALD consumers

Resources for Diverse Groups  that can assist you to understand more about the needs of diverse groups.

DOWNLOAD our printable: Resources for Diverse Groups

Dementia Specific resources for Non-English speaking consumers

Help Sheets

Help sheets provide advice, common sense approaches and practical strategies on the issues most commonly raised about dementia. These include what is dementia, early planning, memory changes, communication, taking a break, and changed behaviours to name just a few. Help sheets are available in the following languages:


Hard copies of the help sheets are available for order from the Dementia Australia website. To view and download these see link below.

DOWNLOAD hard copies of the help sheets: Help Sheets – Dementia Specific Non-English Speaking Consumers  

Resources for professionals working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds

Perceptions of Dementia in Ethnic Communities

The ‘Perceptions of Dementia in Ethnic Communities‘ by Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, is a resource kit outlining dementia perceptions in Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese communities. To view and read click the link below.

DOWNLOAD the resource kit: Perceptions of Dementia in Ethnic Communities


Cultura, an initiative of Alzheimer’s Australia, is an excellent new resource to assist staff to provide culturally appropriate support to enable them to better relate and communicate with individuals from different cultures. The App and website include comprehensive information about each culture including traditions, spirituality, communication and attitudes to dementia, other health issues and aged care.   The free App can be downloaded from the App store, making the information easily accessible whenever it is required.

Video for Consumers and Family Members

The video Your Home Care Package – Making it work for you is also available in six key community languages


This is a valuable resource for providers to provide to consumers and family members who support them.  It explains what a home care package is and illustrates through practical examples on how people use the home care package to make the most out their care they receive.

Quick Guide to Services – For Carers

This bilingual booklet has been developed for carers and people living with dementia from nine communities.

Croatian   Japanese     Spanish      French      Lithuanian    Turkish    Korean   Serbian   Ukrainian

Worried About Your Memory

There is a difference between memory loss as a part of normal ageing and as a symptom of dementia. This resources outlines how memory works, common memory changes that occur with ageing, health factors that can impact on memory function and when memory difficulties need to be investigated. This resource is translated into the languages below.


Palliative Care in Communities

To view and read the ‘Palliative Care: National Cross Cultural Dementia Network‘ issues and recommendations briefing paper by Alzheimer’s Australia, click the link below.

DOWNLOAD the briefing paper: Palliative Care: National Cross Cultural Dementia Network Briefing Paper