Culturally Appropriate Residential Aged Care: 10 Questions to Ask


Members of The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association and PICAC NSW

From left to right: Rita Martin, Helen Macukewicz and and Brett Holmes from the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) and Sevinc Izmirli and Chris Lacey from Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) and Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI).

Are there bilingual staff who can speak Arabic with my Lebanese-born aunt? Will my Vietnamese friend’s religious practices and needs be accommodated? Can you please let my football-mad uncle watch the Bundesliga on TV? Will my Croatian father be served his Sarma on his birthday?

Making choices about residential aged care services can be confusing and complex. But for multicultural communities, knowing the right questions to ask is vital so that cultural and language needs are met.

To help guide consumers, families, and carers, the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI), in partnership with the NSW Nurses and Widwives’ Association (NSWNMA), has produced a new information resource, “10 Questions to Ask About Your Cultural Needs in Residential Aged Care”.

The leaflet has been prepared by MCCI’s Partners In Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) program, and is aimed at people from a non-English speaking background and others with culturally specific needs.

Speaking at the launch of the series at the NSW Seniors’ Festival in Darling Harbour recently, General Manager of MCCI, Chris Lacey, said he hoped that this new information resource will empower consumers and carers to ask the right questions when considering residential aged care options.

“Most residential aged care providers do a good job to help consumers and families understand the services they offer, but it can be a complex and confusing process. That complexity is amplified for multicultural communities who may have specific cultural or language care needs; this information resource is designed to help consumers know the questions to ask so that they can determine how their cultural needs will be met and make informed choices about their future care.” Mr Lacey said.

This new Cultural Needs resource is part of a larger “10 Questions to Ask” series of brochures, initiated by the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) and written by nurses, doctors and experts with experience in aged care.

In launching the series the General Secretary of NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, stressed the importance of recognising the needs of culturally diverse communities and individuals and ensuring that their cultural needs are met in residential aged care services so that they can be properly cared for.

Copies of the new information resources are available at