Cultural diversity must be considered across all organisational policies and practices in order to provide culturally responsive aged care services and a culturally inclusive work environment.You might like to consider developing a cultural diversity policy for your organisation. It should be linked to the overall quality and service plan, and cover all areas of service design and delivery.
Of particular importance is the development of a language and communication policy that covers the use of telephone and on-site interpreting services.
Implementing a cultural diversity policy shows a real commitment to meeting the needs of our culturally and linguistically diverse community.
The following checklist will assist you in the development of culturally inclusive policies that address cultural diversity across all levels of service design and delivery.
- Are professional interpreting services used:
- when care plans are developed and reviewed;
- whenever informed consent is required; and
- as requested by care recipients and/or their families?
- Are all care recipients and their families informed of their right to access professional interpreting services at any time, and of the availability of telephone interpreting services?
- Is information regarding services provided in the preferred language of care recipients and their families?
- Have dementia assessments been reviewed for cultural bias and do they recognise the impact of culture and the migration experience in understanding individual behaviour?
- Are the different cultural representations and perceptions of dementia taken into consideration when discussing the subject with people with dementia and their families?
- Does your service provide culturally appropriate therapies that promote and enhance the quality of life for people with dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?
See Dementia Care
- Are the emotional support needs of your care recipients identified, addressed and regularly reviewed, with input from family members?
- Are care recipients assisted to maintain community and other support networks?
- Does your service explore the availability of volunteers to provide recreational visits to isolated care recipients in their preferred language?
- Does your service provide culturally appropriate food services that meet care recipients' cultural and religious needs and preferences concerning diet and food preparation?
- Are menu choices provided in the preferred languages of care recipients?
- Are staff responsible for food services trained in culturally appropriate food preparation?
See Food Services
Health & Personal Care
- Does your service identify and address individual cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs across all health and personal care services?
- Is information about health and personal care services - including information about specific procedures - provided in the preferred language of care recipients and their families?
- Are staff aware of the cultural and religious impact on the acceptability of certain health and personal care procedures?
- Does your organisation actively promote the recruitment of bilingual staff?
- Does your organisation support the cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs of employees?
- Are staff provided with training in cultural awareness, appropriate communication and the correct use of telephone and on-site interpreting services?
See Human Resources
- Are the cultural, linguistic and religious needs and preferences of care recipients taken into consideration when planning and reviewing recreational activities, with input from their families and members of the local community?
- Are care recipients supported to maintain community networks?
- Does your service provide access to multicultural media?
- Has your organisation consulted local communities to find out how your facility can be made more appealing and appropriate for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?
- Are the needs and preferences of your residents from culturally and linguistically diverse communities taken into consideration when designing and decorating private rooms and public living spaces?
- Are facilities provided for a variety of religious and spiritual observances?
- Are individual cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs supported across all integrated palliative care services?
- Are staff aware of the cultural and religious impact on the acceptability of certain palliative treatments?
- Are staff responsible for palliative care familiar with the different cultural and religious practices around death, dying and bereavement?
See Palliative Care
- Does your organisation facilitate community participation in service design and development?
- Has your organisation identified the needs of the local and/or targeted community?
- Does your organisation communicate the organisation's planning objectives in the preferred language of care recipients and their families, and offer a variety of ways to provide feedback?
See Service Planning
- Does your service support the current and desired practices and beliefs of care recipients, and schedule regular reviews of spiritual needs?
- Is the impact of religion on all services, including health and personal care and food services, documented and strictly followed?
- Does your service assist care recipients to maintain religious networks, and provide appropriate religious representation as required?
- Has your organisation established ongoing links with the PICAC initiative in your state or territory?
See About PICAC
Additional Resources and Links
- Ageing and Cultural Diversity Strategy
Ethnic Communities' Council Victoria, 2011
- Strength through Diversity: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Aged and Community Care - National Policy Position (PDF 149kb)
Aged and Community Services Australia, 2006
- Caring for Older Australians from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds - Ageing Policy Statement 2007
Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia, 2007
- Cultural Competency in Health: A guide for policy, partnerships and participation
National Health and Medical Research Council, 2006
Use our National Resources Search for additional resources and links including resources developed under the Community Partners Program (CPP) and the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Initiative.