Inclusive care plans

Michelle Slater

Traralgon Aged Care is working with Gippsland’s Aboriginal community to create a safe and inclusive place for Indigenous aged care centre residents.

The residential aged care facility held a smoking ceremony and flag raising event with members of the local Aboriginal community to signify building close cultural relationships.

Kurnai elder Cheryl Drayton is helping staff learn how to make Aboriginal residents feel connected to their communities and provide culturally appropriate end-of-life care.

“We need to talk about the most important aspects of connectedness and it’s important for staff to know about this so they can manage the last stages of people’s lives,” Ms Drayton said.

“This is about building a conversation and working to facilitate this across all the staffing fraternity so Aboriginal people feel they want to be a part of this place.”

Ms Drayton said Aboriginal elders were often cared for at home by family members who may not have the resources to be full-time carers so it was important that aged care centres created inclusive spaces.

She said providing an environment where family could drop in was important.

“Elders could come and have a look at places like this in the Valley so there is no fear involved. They can yarn about an aged care facility and look at the level of support they get,” Ms Drayton said.

Medical and Aged Care Group managing director Cameron McPherson said this was an opportunity for staff and families to learn from one another.

“There are so many other aged care facilities that say that they will provide special care for the Indigenous community but they don’t walk the talk,” Mr McPherson said.