Navigating Aged Care

Navigating Aged Care

Project Dates: 26/07/2021 – 28/10/2021

Australia is a very multicultural country with over 300 different languages spoken and 1in3 older Australians having grown up in a non-English speaking home. Unfortunately, too many older Australians from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds are not getting access to the supports available to them to age well at home.

Recent research shows that older multicultural people do not use the My Aged Care system due to language barriers, low computer literacy, and a lack of understanding of the system. Additional barriers include a lack of awareness of the different services available, the complexity of the system, a lack of trust, health literacy, and a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate aged care providers.

The EnCOMPASS: Multicultural Aged Care Program (CALD Aged Care System Navigator), funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, is a strategy for addressing this issue. The program is a partnership between the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) and local organisations around the country, to provide Specialist Support Workers (called ENCOMPASS Connectors) in a total of 30 metropolitan and regional sites across all States/Territories. In addition to provide information and one-on-one culturally appropriate case management to older people, these Connectors aim to deliver a series of community development initiatives to build the knowledge and ability of their community in ageing, aged care and to support their seniors.

About the Project:

In this project, the QUT Design Lab worked with FECCA – the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia develop a framework of a co-design methodology that Specialist Multicultural Support Workers (EnCOMPASS) would use to understand the barriers to accessing aged care services and co-create in-language messaging and resources on ageing and navigation. This project involved a unique train-the-trainer approach to build the capacity of providers/Connectors to facilitate these co-design workshops within their communities, involving two online workshops with 30 EnCOMPASS Connectors located across Australia.

The co-design workshop activities include storytelling sessions around how people currently get support and the barriers and enablers to accessing support, using visual prompts to learn the various ways in which people find out about supports and which sources of information they trust, and also a guided activity which invites participants to create a message for their community, whether that be a message for ethnic radio, a community group newsletter, or a postcard.

As many of the EnCOMPASS Connectors have no previous experience of workshop facilitation, the training included the development of a resource pack including a facilitator guide with information on how to prepare for a workshop, a script, tips on how to pick up cues or ‘read the room’, and how to wrap up a session, as well as workshop presentation slides, a runsheet, and participant workbooks.

Watch the project video on YouTube:


Project Team:

Professor Evonne Miller

Professor Lisa Scharoun

Dr Sarah Johnstone

Partners: Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia

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