Background to MAC

Multicultural Aged Care Inc (MAC) was incorporated in 1993 and successive Boards of Management aspired to contributing to the vision that older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds would lead the lifestyle of their choice as they grew older.

To contribute to that vision MAC’s mission was to strengthen CALD communities’ capacity to deliver aged and community care services to their older people; assist aged and community care service providers to deliver culturally appropriate care and inform governments, peak bodies and sector stakeholders about the aged and community care needs of CALD older people. MAC received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) and the Home and Community Care (HACC) Programs. Through its activities and a suite of Strategic Plans the MAC Board had oversight of the delivery of targeted programs and projects and MAC was acknowledged as the lead agency in CALD aged and community care in SA. The substantive achievements of MAC can be reviewed on the website www.mac.org.au; on Facebook and Twitter and in its resources.

Since 1993 the MAC membership and Board had continuous representation from CALD communities, CALD community agencies delivering services and generalist aged and community care service providers and its meetings were a forum where CALD aged and community care issues, concerns and priorities were constantly canvassed.

Canvassing CALD issues

As members of MAC you probably participated in the Membership Review; the Brainstorming session Thursday, 12 July 2012 and at the AGM presentations by Pino Migliorino (FECCA) in October 2011 and Minister Butler in October 2012 as well as a range of Network meetings including Managers: CALD Programs and CALD Communities Reference Group. All of these sessions have been very well attended; the engagement keen; the conversations constructive and positive; and the discourse analysis informed, strategic and substantive.

The leadership role of MAC in promoting information, resources and training has been rewarded in recent times by CALD issues being on the agenda as a sector priority, both at state and national level and the recognition of achievements, canvassing of issues, networking, sharing of information and resources, identification of gaps and setting of priorities have contributed to the whole sector being better informed and equipped to deliver culturally responsive care.

This has highlighted that the vision of MAC that Older people from CALD backgrounds living the lifestyle of their choice…is closer to being realised. MAC programs have aimed to deliver on the vision by providing information resources and training; engaging with sector stakeholders; networking; and strengthening the capacity of CALD community groups to meet the Community Care Common Standards (CCCS) requirements.

Aged and community care sector forums

So far this year MAC has participated in a number of aged and community care sector forums: ACSAA Liaison Group; ACS SA&NT Aged Care Reforms Update; Alzheimer’s Consumer Group; FECCA national CALD activities; HACC Managers; NCP Regional Forum; VSA&NT Volunteering Session and the Workforce Training Seminar. MAC also organised three stalls at sector functions. The EXPOs information and resources were well received. Participating in all these forums fosters increased sector awareness about the aged and community care needs of CALD older persons and promotes better practice culturally and linguistically responsive information, resources and training.

Generalist aged and community care service providers engaging with CALD issues and perspectives

Over the last seven years generalist or mainstream service providers have been increasingly engaging with CALD issues and perspectives and committing to accessing information, training and resources so that agencies and networks are better informed and are better able to deliver programs and services which are culturally and linguistically responsive to older people from CALD backgrounds. MAC participates in key sector networks and can attest that CALD perspectives are no longer simply discussed at the fringe, as interesting exotica, but rather as core elements of quality aged and community care.

Networking works

Feedback and reading the log of achievements of CALD HACC programs reinforce the view that aged and community care staff members are developing better understandings of what is responsive, culturally appropriate care; are developing knowledge and competencies on the principles of CALD perspectives and are better equipped to deliver culturally appropriate care. The success stories inspire us all to continue the good work and pursue improvements in training and in the provision of tailored, targeted, culturally appropriate, quality care to older persons from CALD backgrounds.

Cultural competency training

MAC not only participated in forums but also facilitated and delivered a number of cultural competency workshops including on Working with CALD families and Continence and CALD perspectives. The feedback from Managing a diverse workforce and Cultural competency in aged care sessions was exceptional. More workshops on CALD Dementia; Palliative Care; Torture and Trauma; Culture in Ageing activities are planned in 2013 so check the MAC schedule for details.

In addition, over thirty, onsite, cultural competency sessions have been delivered, by MAC staff, and feedback from these sessions has been outstanding. Staff better equipped to deliver culturally responsive services then tailored, targeted cultural competency sessions by MAC is the sector benchmark.

CALD community groups delivering on the Community Care Common Standards

MAC has also been working with a number of CALD agencies preparing for their Community Care Common Standards (CCCS) HACC Reviews. The board members, staff and volunteers of these agencies have been attending CCCS specific topic workshops; using the MAC developed templates and resources, as well as engaging one on one with MAC staff.

On behalf of MAC I congratulate these CALD agencies on doing so well in their Reviews. Their results and successes were/are well deserved. CALD agencies had been demonstrating that they had mastered the HACC NSS processes and achieved exceptional outcomes. With this proud record as a foundation they embraced the transition to the CCCS Review processes with determination and principle.

Engagement with MAC information and training, preparedness to use MAC resources, development of better practice accountability and reporting procedures and commitment to continuous improvement of services has been rewarded by excellent results. A resounding well done to CALD community groups!

Success in the HACC CCCS Review process bears testimony to hard work, time commitment and capacity to deliver targeted and responsive services to CALD older people in their communities and also meet the accountability and reporting requirements of the CCCS Reviews. Again congratulations all round and as CALD community groups managed the CCCS processes well they proved their capacity to deliver not only to the Review Teams but also to the aged and community care sector.

Transitioning the HACC programs

Although there have been some teething problems, the transition of the HACC programs is on track and the dust is settling. Participants at MAC events and sessions, including CALD Communities Reference Group, Managers and Workers Networks, Brainstorming session, AGM attended well over 100 people… have accessed information, sought clarification and generally engaged with changes in a constructive approach.

Managing the Changes

The CALD aged care sector has been networking, accessing information, resources and training, providing targeted CALD services, participating in the CCCS Reviews and managing the HACC Transition and Aged Care Reforms

MAC, as partners with aged and community care sector stakeholders, has noted CALD service provision increasingly targeted and responsive to the needs of older people from CALD backgrounds; networking amongst stakeholders has strengthened and capacity to deliver culturally targeted and responsive aged and community care services supported and enhanced.

And the future is an opportunity to be grasped!

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