May 17, 2024

I’m a Senior – Ask Me! Shining a spotlight on the needs and perspectives of multicultural seniors in our community

Yesterday, we had the privilege of gathering over 60 seniors from diverse backgrounds, along with professionals working in the aged care sector, to discuss what truly matters to them. This gathering was more than just a meeting; it was a platform for our seniors to voice their needs, share their experiences, and engage in meaningful dialogue about hope, connection, belonging, trust, choice, and feeling valued.

A collage of four photos of people sitting at tables at an aged care forum

“I’m a Senior – Ask Me!” was a forum organised by the Northern Federation of Ethnic Senior Citizens Clubs, to provide an opportunity to listen to multicultural seniors, and to gain invaluable insights into their lives. These insights help us understand what matters most to them, and how to better meet their needs and improve the services we offer. The seniors spoke passionately about what helps them feel connected and valued. They shared their experiences and highlighted the importance of respect, empathy, and practical support in their daily lives.

During the workshop, seniors expressed that hope comes from a positive outlook and believing in oneself. They emphasized the importance of encouragement and support from the community and service providers. Feeling connected to family, friends, and the broader community was a recurring theme. And they highlighted the value of social clubs, community activities, and volunteer opportunities in fostering a sense of belonging.

Following the workshop, seniors enthusiastically voted on the themes that resonated most. Their top three: Choice, Connection, and Hope.

Questions were directed to the panel of aged care professionals, including from the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, Elder Rights Advocacy, Federation of Ethnic Communities Council Of Australia and Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Seniors expressed concerns about the complexities of accessing services and the need for quicker and more transparent processes.

“Despite minimal resources and support, I’m always encouraged by the enthusiasm and passion that seniors club leaders contribute to keep their clubs running,” said Nadereh Edwards, Project Coordinator of the Northern Federation of Senior Citizens Clubs.

“By building a strong network of seniors clubs, the Federation empowers leaders to continue their work, have a voice and find meaningful outcomes.”

At Spectrum, we are committed to advocating for the needs of our multicultural seniors. By creating spaces where seniors can share their stories and needs, and by listening to their voices, we can ensure that our services are responsive, respectful, and effective. Together, we can build a more inclusive and supportive community where every senior feels valued and empowered.

“I’m a Senior – Ask Me!” was a step towards a more inclusive and empathetic approach to aged care. We encourage everyone in the community to join us in this effort, ensuring that our seniors’ voices continue to guide and shape the services we provide.

A big thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the success of this event. Your voices are essential in shaping the future of aged care services, and we are committed to continuing this dialogue to ensure that all seniors feel valued and respected.