Mental disorders and psychiatric issues do not have age barriers. They affect the old as much as the young or even more. This is why Aged care is very important, especially in ethnic communities. Mental health does not get as many considerations as it gets in mainstream society. This is partially due to the absence of resources and information on such matters in a way that fully considers the culture of the people. Transcultural psychiatry is gradually helping to deal with this problem and develop inclusive solutions.
It is noteworthy that this is in line with Victoria's mental health reforms which includes the diverse needs of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. For this group of people to be adequately catered for, there is need for targeted resources that will help to create culturally competent health services and also improve across all categories such health services and support for this group of people.
In an age where many aged care service providers are facing mental health issues in the delivery of their services, older people from CALD backgrounds are likely to suffer mental health problems for years with no support from families or access to healthcare. With about forty per cent of people aged above 65 in Victoria belonging to the non-English speaking communities, these groups represent a sizeable part of the population. With old age, the risks associated with mental health illness becomes more glaring. Without proper care, there is a chance that other health problems will surface and the resulting complications could be fatal in most cases.
Research has shown that there may be a higher risk of mental illness in refugees and immigrants communities dues to factors such as the stresses associated with migration and settlement. Unfortunately, this same group have the least access to mental healthcare services and usually only end up there when the problem has become self-evident and the condition critical. This is why they account for most of those in the acute inpatient unit.
The major problem identified in the multicultural mental health sector is a service gap. This gap, however, takes many forms such as:
Absence of culturally responsive information and education about mental disorders. It is still viewed with stigmas based on certain misconceptions which further aggravate the conditions of those suffering from it and put pressure on those who are not as they seek to stay "normal."
Inadequate linguistically and culturally accessible information regarding mental health services for non-English speaking people. The options for treatment are unclear, the experts are unknown, and the pathway to get treatment is complicated.
Inadequate culturally appropriate counselling and professionals - The language barrier remains a significant roadblock as there are just not enough bilingual counsellors or doctors.
When all these problems and the many other plaguing transcultural psychiatry are considered, it becomes clear why aged care for NESB people is insufficient. The solution lies in a multidimensional approach where the resource will play a significant role. VTPU provides resources. You will find the right resources on aged care in relation to mental issues such as dementia and how best such conditions can be effectively managed.