Access Related Barriers in Multicultural Societies and how People can be Supported

The Aged Care Sector is currently undergoing reforms in response to Australia’s ageing population. My Aged Care (MAC) is a national online and phone service that is the starting point for everyone who would like to access aged care services. Many seniors are currently facing difficulties coping with all the changes.

There are a number of barriers that culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) seniors are facing when accessing support services including the MAC contact centre. Listed below are some of the main barriers in accessing the service system, information about what help is available to overcome those barriers and how this support can be accessed.

General access related barriers:

  • Culture and language
  • Medical condition/health issues
  • Limited access to information about how and where to start, and how the service system works (provided in various languages)
  • General difficulties in navigating the service system
  • Social isolation
  • Limited or no support from family, carers or friends etc.

Some of the barriers are directly related to accessing the My Aged Care contact centre or website, for example:

  • Lack of trust in divulging personal details, especially via phone or online
  • Financial difficulties in regard to accessing IT technology, no internet access and no IT knowledge (how to use devices)
  • Little or no family support (not that unusual for CALD clients)
  • Difficulty in communicating over the phone
  • Difficulty in hearing properly over the phone
  • Questions are interpreted differently by CALD clients
  • Difficulty understanding the questions
  • Anxiety of trying to express themselves and answering so many questions that they may only partially understand

How can AMCS help?

  • We will contact/visit you and have a friendly conversation to clearly understand and identify your support needs
  • We will explain what services are available to you and how to obtain access to these services
  • We will help you and your carer, if required, to access and navigate the service system

What do we directly support you with?

  • Accessing the My Age Care (MAC) contact centre or website
  • Advocacy support
  • Organising a Home Assessment via MAC
  • Organising the ACAS assessment via MAC
  • Communicating with assessors and advocating for you to achieve the best service outcome
  • Providing help to find services that are tailored to meet your specific support needs
  • Communicating with the service providers you have chosen
  • Providing support with consultations
  • Making sure you are getting the services you are entitled to, that will help you live independently at home for as long as possible
  • Supporting you through the other unknown complexities of this relatively new system

*Professionals must have the client’s consent (verbal or written) in order to act/advocate on their behalf

What do you need to do now?

If you have any questions or if you wish to access support services, please call: (03) 8371 2304 or email: sinisha.krstov@amcservices.org.au

Author: Sinisha Krstov – Australian Multicultural Community Services