Description/summary of the article
This article describes cultural diversity in the Australian society. Reports from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are that there is a growing population among the older age group emerging into distinct cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds (CALD). For example, in 1996 18% of Australian over age 65 came from this unique heritage. In 2011 it increased to 23%. The Australian national census revealed that these groups emerged out of fifty different countries. They brought with them 34 languages and 30 religions organizations to the country (Media Monitors, 2011).
Consequently, in Perth the institute identified an increase in the elderly population by 50% between 2009 and 2011. Analysts have attributed this increase to Perth’s close proximity to Asia. Besides, it was discovered that Perth contained the 5th highest number Indian born ancestors and Burma was the 10th. Other countries adding tom the cultural diversity were Italy, India and the Netherlands. The fastest growing population among the elderly was, however, identified coming out of Malaysia (Media Monitors, 2011).
Precisely, this cultural diversity reflects in quality, quantity, accessibility and interpretation of health care among Australian elderly. Common cultural barriers related to diversity encompass, language, family and religious rituals. Many of these cultural values implicit in rituals affect receptivity of elder care. The different languages spoken by Australian elderly often makes them feel isolated since health care professionals not readily understand the context of care needed based on language expression difficulties (Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, 2013).
The Institute suggests that the best approach in offering quality aged care should cater towards meeting unique individual needs. Supportively, Australia’s Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing provides, services aimed at addressing these cultural diversity issues being a Victorian-based organization. Concerns of this vulnerable population are dealt with from theoretical perspectives established by their cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD) predisposition. Consequently, care delivered becomes more culturally relevant (Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, 2013).
This Australian cultural diversity issue regarding health care for the elderly is a universal crisis for both developing and developed nations as it relates to indigenous people. For example, in United States of America the Native Americans have concerns with the present health care system in delivered to them. Presently, it appears to be culturally incompatible, especially, for those Indians who are still living on reservations, which are inaccessible by roads (Call et.al, 2006)
A study conducted by Call (2006) and a number of other researchers comparing accessibility of healthcare for American Whites and American Indians revealed that even though the elderly enroll in health care programs and access to care was attempted, obvious barriers to obtaining the required care was evident. There were significant differences between American Indians and Whites regarding accessibility/availability of care. These obstacles involved trusting ther American health care system and providers of care; respect, and apparent discrimination similar to the Australian cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) society (Call et.al, 2006)
How the article relates to class concepts
The researchers forged health care providers to be vigilant towards removing these barriers experienced by American Indians. Consequently, cultural diversity as was discussed in class should not be a barrier, but a force of integration within the society aimed at improving accessibility, acceptability, and quality of care for all American alike irrespective of their cultural differences/ diversity (Amory & Adams, 2003).
Amory, S., & Adams, J (2003). Anti-globalization: The Global Fight for Local Autonomy. New Political Science, 25 (1), 19–42.
Call, K. McAlpine, D. Johnson, P. Beebe, T. McRae, J., & Song, Y. (2006). Barriers to care among American Indians in public health care programs. Med Care. 44(6);595-600
Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing (2013). Ageing in Australia: The Immigrant Experience DVD. Retrieved on July 17th, 2013 from http://www.culturaldiversity.com.au/resources/ageing-in-australia-the-immigrant-experience-dvd
Media Monitors (2011). Culture’s place in care. Retrieved on July 17th, 2013 from http://www.culturaldiversity.com.au/images/stories/Cultures_place_in_care_article_March_2011.pdf
Call KT, McAlpine DD, Johnson PJ, Beebe TJ, McRae JA, Song Y