Supporting CALD Residents with Dementia

Through your donations, those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities living with dementia are now able to receive the specialised care they need. Funded in part with a $40,000 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation, Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS) was able to open its new dementia specific care facility ‘Gerda’s House’ in April. This progressive approach and facility is the first of its kind in Greater Geelong.

‘Gerda’s House’ is a safe and supportive space where people living with dementia can ‘be themselves’ – whatever their culture, their story, or their lifestyle. Officially opened on 8 April, the first 8 residents to move into their new home are from 8 different nationalities including Italian, German Macedonian – multiculturalism at its very best!

‘Gerda’s House’ will assist residents by providing a space to address their cultural and linguistic needs and means they will not have to relocate to alternative care. This will mitigate the risk of residents feeling displaced, disorientated and upset.

The need for dementia specific care is growing at an alarming rate in our community with estimates of people living with dementia increasing four-fold by 2050 and six-fold amongst Australians who speak a language other than English. Victoria’s multicultural population is ageing proportionately faster than the average population and has the largest multicultural ageing population in Australia. According to a Deloitte Access Economics study in 2012, the LGA with the highest prevalence of dementia was Greater Geelong (3,600 cases) and by 2050 the highest estimated prevalence of dementia will be Greater Geelong.

Above: Arthur and Spiro Fatorous celebrate the grand opening of ‘Gerda’s House’