What are the barriers for Somali and Assyrian Chaldean elderly communities in accessing mainstream health and welfare services?

Abraham, N 2012, What are the barriers for Somali and Assyrian Chaldean elderly communities in accessing mainstream health and welfare services?, Masters by Research, Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title What are the barriers for Somali and Assyrian Chaldean elderly communities in accessing mainstream health and welfare services?
Author(s) Abraham, N
Year 2012
Abstract This research investigated the barriers for the Somali and Assyrian Chaldean elderly small and emerging CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities, in accessing mainstream health and welfare services.

The rationale for the research was driven by my working knowledge of these communities, and the need for advocating on their behalf for appropriate services. As the manager of Spectrum’s Aged and Disability services, as many of these communities age it is necessary to identify and support them appropriately, and to assist them to navigate barriers of accessing culturally appropriate health and well being services.

The current Home and Community Care (HACC) services funded by the Victorian Department of Health are: centre-based respite, transport, social support, domestic assistance (home help and home Care), personal care, home maintenance, home modification, and community nursing. However, the HACC services provided do not make sufficient provision for these new emerging communities, and their culturally diverse needs, due to their model of culturally inappropriate services. This could be a possible reason why older people from small and emerging communities are less visible in the local community, given their lower usage of mainstream aged care services.

The research design developed for the study of the two communities consisted of a qualitative exploratory design engaging with the elders and leaders of the communities, medical practitioners and aged care service providers. This was carried out through facilitating focus groups and interviews so that their needs were identified and documented. The research methodology included culturally appropriate strategies — focus groups and interviews were conducted with consideration of participants’ lack of English comprehension by engaging members of the target communities to provide support through interpreting conversations between participants and researcher.

Thematic analysis was used to analyse data collected from focus groups and interviews identifying barriers to accessing services for these elderly migrants. Issues identified were: English proficiency, loss of networks due to settlement in a new country, financial limitations, lack of confidence, trauma and shame associated with past experiences.

Finally my research created an opportunity to work closely with elderly members of these communities, via a pathway of mutual trust and respect to explore and identify barriers, challenges, strengths and limitations in assessing the available health and welfare services in Victoria.

Knowledge gained from the focus groups, and interviews was shared with service providers, government departments, multicultural services, and ethnic services in order to ensure that elderly Somali and Assyrian Chaldean communities benefited from the research undertaken through knowledge of their barriers accessing mainstream health and welfare services.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global Studies, Social Science and Planning
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Created: Mon, 09 Dec 2013, 11:10:52 EST by Brett Fenton
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