CALD Dementia Research Action Plan an important step towards aged care equity

FECCA has today welcomed the launch of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Dementia Research Action Plan, describing it as an important step towards equitable care for CALD Australians living with dementia.

The Action Plan was developed by The NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research (NNIDR), in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and incorporated extensive consultation with community and advocacy groups, including FECCA.

The Action Plan identifies five research and translation needs for immediate action to:

  • Identify effective ways to promote dementia risk reduction behaviours in CALD communities
  • Increase the development and uptake of evidence-based, culture-fair tools for dementia screening and diagnosis in primary and acute care settings
  • Inform ways to improve timely help-seeking for dementia in CALD communities
  • Develop, test, and implement culturally-specific models of dementia care that improve access to care and quality of life for CALD persons with dementia and their carers
  • Inform effective ways to train frontline health and care staff on how culture influences dementia, including through continuous professional development.

FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos said improved CALD inclusion in dementia research was critical in improving care outcomes.

“CALD Australians don’t have equitable access to aged care or dementia services for a whole range of reasons, including that many people who may have had good English language proficiency, lose this with dementia and revert to their original language,” She said.

“This leads to increased isolation and compounds some of the challenges associated with dementia, which is deeply concerning, especially given that one in three older Australians are from a CALD background.

“There is also a lower awareness of dementia among some CALD communities, which can lead to late diagnoses in many circumstances.

“Ensuring culturally and linguistically diverse Australians are included in a meaningful way in research is crucial if we are going to understand how to successfully deliver equitable care for CALD Australians living with dementia.

“This is why FECCA has been calling for better research and funding into dementia care for CALD Australians and why we were pleased to advise on the community consultations during the development of this Action Plan.”

The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Dementia Research Action Plan launch video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO9KqGKg0lE

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