Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has appointed two bilingual workers to support older people of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to access My Aged Care and improve their wellbeing and independence.

As a local partner of EnCOMPASS Multicultural Aged Care Connector, ADS received funding to employ the two workers, known as EnCOMPASS Connectors.

The Connectors provide specialist support to CALD seniors living in the St George area regardless of the level or complexity of their needs. They will also assist ADS to run a series of community development activities to build the seniors’ understanding of ageing, the aged care system and the supports available to them.

Wendy Huang who speaks Cantonese and Mandarin, and Hana Srour who speaks Arabic, have been appointed as ADS’s Connectors and are excited to be helping older people in their communities.

‘Wendy and Hana offer one-on-one support,’ said Jenny Tang, Team Leader for the program’s community development activities. ‘They help older people sign up to My Aged Care, guide them through the forms, advocate for them, support them to connect to aged care service providers, and assist them to change the type of support they’re receiving if this is what’s needed.

‘We know CALD older people in our area have been struggling to understand the aged care system and to find the right support. Happily, our EnCOMPASS Connectors will make this much easier.’

‘They have begun work – and can take referrals right now,’ she said, ‘even as we speak!’

Aged Care Manager for ADS, Dimi Vourliotis – who will manage casework activities for the program – said people looking for support would be given access to all the information available so they could make their own choices.

‘EnCOMPASS Connectors are unbiased. They will refer older people to the aged care services that will best meet their needs and that they, the consumer, have chosen.’

Ms Tang said the capacity-building aspect of the EnCOMPASS project was also important.

‘We’ll run information sessions about aged care services and build a network of local community leaders, such as GPs, faith leaders, teachers and so forth, who can refer older people to our program and who will eventually be able to provide basic information to older people about My Aged Care as well.’

The network, to be known as the Aged Care Support Network (ACSN), would meet quarterly, she said, and should be up and running by the end of 2021.

‘Our aim with the EnCOMPASS program is to find and offer solutions that address the challenges and barriers faced by older people from CALD backgrounds when navigating the aged care system.

‘We really want to empower CALD seniors – so they feel confident, cared for and calm about their lives and health.’

The EnCOMPASS program is funded by the Federal Department of Health, through FECCA – Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council Australia. The program is Australia wide. ADS is a local partner in the St George region, together with Ethnic Community Services Cooperative. 

For support or more information, please contact:
Hana, (Arabic) – 0413 907 379
Wendy, (Chinese) – 0466 638 224