Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Carers and Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, has praised Dementia Australia for the translation of four Help Sheets it released in response to the COVID-19 outbreak into 38 languages.
The Help Sheets outline tips for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends of people living with dementia, residential care providers and home care providers.
With an estimated one in eight Australians living with dementia not speaking English at home and around 18 per cent of people in residential aged care from non-English speaking countries, Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the translations were much needed to reach culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“The translation of these Help Sheets will assist people from non-English speaking backgrounds living with dementia, their carers, families, friends, community groups and providers to achieve the best possible outcomes during this pandemic,” McCabe said.
“People from diverse communities sometimes face difficulties with language and a lack of knowledge of the service systems available to people living with dementia in Australia.
“At this time, people living with dementia are some of the most vulnerable groups in society.
“The needs of all people living with dementia must be a priority in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
“Since releasing these Help Sheets in March, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We are delighted to be releasing the translated Help Sheets, which will help people to navigate complex conversations about dementia and COVID-19 in their own languages.”
McBride said the move was an “excellent initiative”.
“It is often said COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, but it does – the impact of this crisis is being felt more by older Australians, particularly those living with dementia and those who care for them.
“It can be very difficult for the estimated 460,000 Australians living with dementia – and especially the one in eight of those who speak a language other than English at home – and their carers to access reliable information easily.
The Help Sheets provide handy guidelines for those living with dementia, carers families and friends, residential care providers and home care providers – outlines the impacts coronavirus COVID-19 may have on a person living with dementia, tips to reduce heightened anxiety and where to go for help.
Funding for the project was provided by the Australian Government Department of Health.
Access the Help Sheets at dementia.org.au/languages and call 1800 100 500 for information and support.