Helping Australia’s diverse carers

Australia’s diverse communities and carers can now access help to make the best possible end of life decisions through a new website from the CarerHelp Project.

Developed jointly by St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and the CareSearch team at Flinders University, the resources aim to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the LGBTIQ+ community, and carers and communities who speak in languages other than English.

Responding to community needs, culture, identity and language, the information covers the different areas and stages of caring including getting started, when illness is progressing, and grief and bereavement.

Associate Professor Mark Boughey, deputy director, Centre for Palliative Care and director of palliative medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne says we all need to be understood and heard.

“We all have different ways of making end of life decisions. This means offering tailored information and resources that are best suited to people’s culture, language and identities.

“To support carers in the best way possible, these new CarerHelp resources in nine languages, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the LGBTIQ+ community aim to ensure that everyone providing or receiving care has access to trustworthy and relevant information most suited to their needs.”

Bernice Murphy, manager at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, an organisation focusing on improving the health and well-being of people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, says:

“People who are caring for a friend or relative at the end of life need information to help them prepare for that role. Not only does that information need to be in their preferred language, but it should also take into account the relevant cultural sensitives related to end of life.”

Hannah Morgan, coordinator for palliative care at LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, says person-centred care is unachievable if the diverse needs of individuals are not understood or considered.

“Carers who are LGBTIQ+ who care for LGBTIQ+ people or other loved ones are often faced with particular barriers when accessing palliative care.”

“The resources CarerHelp provides assists LGBTIQ+ people to navigate the health care system and advocate for their rights. The resources also support health care providers to learn about inclusive practice.”

The new resources are officially launched this week. For more information and to view the resources, visit the CarerHelp website.

CarerHelp provides free information, resources and advice, including managing grief and loss, to help when caring for a loved one. CarerHelp is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

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