Skip Navigation

Cultural competency is key to MAC accessibility

5 October 2017

Cultural competency across the care sector is one of six recommendations put forward by PICAC in a new report on how to improve accessibility to My Aged Care (MAC) for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

The report CALD MAC Accessibility Project: Barriers & Recommendations for CALD Persons 65+ When Accessing My Aged Care Consumer Pathway is a summary of the findings from a two year long investigation into how CALD people experience accessing the government portal My Aged Care.

“Our extensive work with communities, service providers and others the last two years confirms that older CALD consumers face systemic challenges when accessing aged care services. The report is an essential source for the aged care sector to meet the needs of older CALD people and deliver culturally appropriate services across Australia”, says Selen Akinci, Senior Project Officer with PICAC.

It is widely acknowledged that people from CALD backgrounds face a range of barriers in accessing the aged care system. As a result of 70 interviews, focus groups and consultations with CALD communities, organisations and service providers, the project identified six key access barriers and put forward six recommendations on how to improve accessibility to My Aged Care. The CALD MAC project was funded by the Department of Health (2015-2017). 

Key access barriers

  • Language and Literacy
  • Not Understanding the Aged Care system
  • Communication and Technology
  • Complexity of Assessment Processes
  • Trust
  • Cultural Competence in Services

Key recommendations

  • Translated information, in community languages, supported by free access to TIS and bi-lingual staff
  • Information hubs in central locations e.g. shopping centres, medical centres, Centrelink/Medicare offices as well as community events
  • Community education programs providing information about aged care services available, designed and delivered, in consultation with community leaders and trained bi-lingual staff
  • Using various modes and methods of communication and technology which are most appropriate to the community group/s
  • One comprehensive assessment process, which is transparent, using well trained and culturally competent staff and interpreters
  • Cultural competency to be integrated into all services with service providers having accountability measures as part of government tender contract arrangements