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Inquiry calls for increased support for Victoria's multicultural seniors

A parliamentary enquiry into support for older Victorians has a number of key recommendations to tackle elder abuse for older Victorians from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

The Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee has tabled its report, which includes dozens of suggested ways to help improve the lives of culturally diverse seniors.

The Committee has made 76 recommendations in total, urging the Victorian Government to:·      

  • Increase funding for ethno-specific and multicultural organisations to provide essential services
  • Trial or implement care finders or community connectors to help culturally diverse seniors find and access services close to where they live
  • Support professional development and career pathways for bicultural and bilingual workers
  • Encourage mainstream aged care providers to partner with ethno-specific organisations to improve their ability to deliver culturally inclusive services

COTA Victoria made a submission that included 15 recommendations, many of which are reflected in the final report. Notably:

  • RECOMMENDATION 7: That the Victorian Government and service providers continue to resource face-to-face service options and offer non-digital communication methods for people who cannot access online services.
  • RECOMMENDATION 27: That the Victorian Government invest in state public dental services to deliver more procedures for culturally diverse older patients needing dental Care.
  • RECOMMENDATION 42: That the Victorian Government expand the Age-Friendly Victoria initiative to assist all councils to improve community transport options for culturally diverse older people to attend social activities and programs.
  • RECOMMENDATION 51: That each Victorian Government department develop a communications strategy that outlines how it will provide equitable access to services and information for people who are digitally excluded, including older people and people for whom English is not their preferred language.
  • RECOMMENDATION 57: That the Victorian Government, through an elder abuse strategy, provide long-term and sustainable funding for elder abuse prevention and response.
  • RECOMMENDATION 67: That the Victorian Government increase funding for Seniors Rights Victoria, elder abuse health justice partnerships and community legal centres in Melbourne and regional Victoria to ensure culturally diverse older people can access elder abuse services close to where they live.

The Committee also advocates for various initiatives to increase the financial, health and digital literacy of multicultural elders and calls for the expansion of activities to reduce social isolation.

The full report and an Easy English summary are available to read on the Committee’s website.

Watch a video summary and snapshots of evidence provided at public hearings on YouTube

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If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821. If it is an emergency, call 000.
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