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Video still. Photo: ACH Group

Building older Muslim people’s faith in aged care

Ensuring older Muslim Australians are connected to their culture and open to the idea of aged care is the driving force behind a range of new resources released by an Australian aged care provider.

ACH Group developed the Muslim Resources Kit as part of the two-year Muslim Communities project, funded by the Department of Health. Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt launched the resources at the provider’s Daw Park facility.

Project lead Mahjabeen Ahmad worked with the Islamic Society of South Australia and the Islamic Arabic Centre to design services that recognise and respect Muslim beliefs and practices. As part of the project, ACH Group also developed and delivered cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity training to more than 700 staff members.

ACH Group chief executive Ray Creen said the project sought to build connections and the confidence of older Muslims and their families to consider the option of aged care support.

Creen explained that it’s not typical for older Muslims to turn to aged care as many have traditionally relied on family supports.

“It is our desire to continue to work with older people of all faiths and cultures to help them to be as healthy as they can be and to live their best lives,” he said. “Work continues to ensure we understand the unique needs of people from diverse backgrounds to ensure they receive a tailored response from ACH Group.”

The suite of resources developed explores Muslim history, culture, and beliefs and practices. It includes four fact sheets, a pocket guide for support workers and four videos, all available online.

Wyatt said: “Staying connected to your heritage, and being cared for by someone who understands your background, can make all the difference to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.”

He established an Aged Care Sector Committee sub-group to provide advice on the development of an Aged Care Diversity Framework.

That Framework, expected to hit Wyatt’s desk in December, aims to help identify the common barriers that may prevent people accessing culturally appropriate aged care and how they can be remedied.

“We live in the most successful multicultural nation on the planet, and an important aspect of maintaining this success is providing well-rounded support to all people in old age,” Wyatt said.

Mahjabeen’s latest publication, Muslim Aged Care: A Practical Guide for Service Providers, which she wrote as an independent researcher and advocate for cultural appropriateness in Muslim aged care, was recently published online by Meaningful Ageing Australia. The guidebook can be accessed here.

Click below to learn more about ACH’s efforts in this space.

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