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Review of Australian Research on Older People from Culturallyand Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-10-12, 03:35 authored by Helen Barrie, Kelly McDougall, Greme Hugo
The 2011 Australian Census showed that over 1.34 million Australians aged over 50 were born overseas in a non-English speaking country. This represents almost 20% of all Australians in that age group. Australian research on older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds has been sporadic. Anecdotal evidence from service providers who work with older people from CALD backgrounds has shown that there are substantial barriers to accessing services, and there is a lack of understanding about providing culturally sensitive care.

There is a clear need for further research to help shape future policy and practice to meet the needs of the growing number and diversity of older people from CALD backgrounds. In response, the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) commissioned the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre, University of Adelaide, to review the Australian research on older people from CALD backgrounds. The aims of the review were to identify the existing research evidence base about older CALD Australians and to identify gaps in the research, covering four broad topic areas:
- older people from CALD backgrounds in general;
- older people from CALD backgrounds with dementia;
- ageing and mental health issues for people from CALD backgrounds; and
- CALD carers and carers of older people from CALD backgrounds.

The project was overseen by FECCA’s project advisory committee, including representatives from national peak bodies, the aged care service industry, government agencies and academic institutions. Material for the review was identified through a search of relevant literature databases, as well as calls for input from service providers and researchers working in the aged care sector. A total of 465 items were included in the review database after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria to all identified items.


Australian Government Department of Social Services


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