A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to family members and friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic health issue and/or age-related condition. ECCV acknowledges the significant support carers give to older people in multicultural communities across Victoria.
Carers Australia estimates that 25–30% of all Australian carers are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, which translates to approximately half a million people. However, this figure is likely to be an underestimate due to the lack of reporting or identification of the caring role within this group.
In partnership with Carers Victoria, ECCV has been running the Recognising and Respecting CALD Carers project, which aims to identify needs, develop solutions and help improve outcomes for carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Watch our carers forum
In April, ECCV held an online forum looking at ways to improve the wellbeing of carers from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
The forum discussed the issues faced by carers in migrant and refugee communities, including identifying hidden carers, access to culturally safe and inclusive support services, and risk factors that may lead to elder abuse in care relationships.
Recognising and Respecting Carers
ECCV’s Recognising and Respecting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Carers project focuses on building the capacity of carer support group leaders to identify support services and share knowledge with their group members.
The project engages with ‘hidden carers’ within migrant and refugee communities who are a particularly vulnerable group among the carer cohort. A hidden carer, often a family member, is an individual who holds a caring role yet who does not identify as a carer, and may not access support groups or services made available to them.
Another aim of the project is to raise awareness of elder abuse in carer relationships through openly discussing it and looking at culturally safe ways to address it. When older people can openly talk about the issue with trusted community and faith leaders, they are empowered to speak up if they or someone they know is experiencing abuse.
Healthy communities give people the respect and dignity they deserve to make informed and respectful decisions about where to seek support.
Carers out and about
As part of ECCV’s Recognising and Respecting Carers project in partnership with Carers Victoria, members of the Dandenong-based Al-Emaan Muslim Women’s Support Group were treated to a day out to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Silvan.
The excursion was a great opportunity to relax, socialise and enjoy the festival in a supportive environment. It followed a recent self-care information session, which addressed the importance of caring for oneself as a carer. The session led group members through small activities they can do to take care of themselves, such as low-impact exercises and meditation.