Ageing in refugee and migrant communities

Cultural diversity matters: Optimising outcomes for migrant and refugee families
Wednesday 25 July, 1230 – 1250


Despina Haralambopoulos

Australia’s population is ageing and with baby boomers moving into older age, this phenomenon is only going to increase in the coming decades.

Current aged care reforms promote active ageing, choice, independence, and consumer directed care. A key premise of these reforms is that older people should be provided with the opportunities to live healthy, positive and productive lives connected to and participating in the life of their community.

As with an ageing population, the prevalence of social isolation amongst older people in Australia is also increasing. In Victoria it is being predicted that the prevalence rates for social isolation amongst older people is expected to double within the next few decades.

Social isolation experienced by older people is a significant barrier to their ability to connect and participate in their community. Migrants and refugees face additional challenges due to language and cultural barriers and therefore are at higher risk of social isolation and poor psychological health than the broader mainstream older population.

The presentation will discuss the social isolation of older migrants and refugees, the impact on their health and wellbeing as well as how MiCare responds through the Eden Alternative approach and its services.

MiCare has an established history in providing services to people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds, including community and residential aged care, settlement services and retirement living. MiCare believes that people have a right to be respected and that differences should be celebrated.