“We hope that with the places we have allocated up until 2018, we will be able to assist almost 100 people through a difficult time in their lives,” she said.
Some 400 STRC places have been made available nationally in 2016-17 with another 75 due in the next financial year, with the potential to assist more than 3,000 older people.
“The program exemplifies a lot of what we do, working with older people from different backgrounds to ensure they are living a full life at home,” Dr Walia said.
“The complexities of aged care and dealing with a trauma, such as an injury or serious illness, are magnified if language and cultural experience is a barrier.
“Our dedicated staff can communicate in more than 40 languages, meaning that we can help reduce any stress and anxiety.”
Dr Walia said the importance of effective communication is highlighted in the suburbs where MAC’s places have been allocated. Based on 2011 Census figures 64% of residents in Canterbury speak a language other than English at home; In Hurstville it is 37.5%; 50% in Liverpool; 25% in Campbelltown City and 70% in Fairfield.
The STRC program comprises eight weeks of multidisciplinary care incorporating the expertise of relevant health care professionals, to develop an individualised plan able to deliver restorative support and avoid premature entry to residential aged care.
“Our bilingual staff who have been providing care and support for more than 24 years will be supported with a new case manager for the STRC program. In the interim, our case managers will oversee staff trained in restorative care services.
“It was a very competitive process to reach this point and we are pleased our experience and commitment to providing appropriate aged care services and information to our clients has been recognised.”
Media contact: Dr Walia: 97186199