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Written By: Olivia Hamilton & Amy Lawton
Published: January 2016

In 2015, WESTIR Ltd. completed a project that investigated both the provision of services and the experiences of dementia care for CALD communities in the Blacktown LGA. Residents of Blacktown LGA speak approximately 156 different languages and come from 184 countries of origin. As the populations from various waves of migration age, there is an increasing need for research into experiences of dementia care for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia. This research project sought to answer the questions:

1.    How do community service providers and medical professionals in the Blacktown LGA provide appropriate diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care for people (from both CALD and Anglo-Australian backgrounds) who are living with dementia?

2.    How do the family carers of people (from both CALD and Anglo-Australian backgrounds) who are living with dementia experience the onset of the disease and the ongoing care needs of their loved ones?

Analysis of these interviews shows that the difficulties associated with diagnosis, treatment, and care for someone living with dementia are shared by all communities, with cultural and/or linguistic diversity adding another layer of complexity to the journey. Further research with all groups is needed to better understand the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity, socio-economic status, geographical location, and recent policy changes. Such research would assist both government and non-government organisations to better meet the service needs of an ageing population, in an area (Blacktown) which is home to a diverse population. 

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