Residents and family members' perceptions of cultural diversity

Dongxia Xiao, Eileen Willis, Ann Harrington, David Gillham, Anita De Bellis, Wendy Morey, Lesley Jeffers

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Abstract:Background: In Australia residents come from 170 countries and the proportion of residents born overseas or born in a non–English speaking country is 31% and 20% respectively (AIHW, 2016). Not only is the residents’ profile multicultural, but so too is the workforce. The proportion of the aged care workforce born overseas, or from non-English speaking countries is 35% and 24% respectively with the majority coming from Asia(King et al., 2013). This cultural diversity adds more challenges for residents in adapting to the care home. Methods: The aim of this study was to understand residents’ perceptions of cultural diversity in care homes in order to inform practice. An interpretive study design employing a thematic analysis was used to address the aim. Results: Twenty-three residents and seven family members participated in interviews. The dual nature of diversity among the residents and staff in the four care homes in the project was evident. Up to 16% of residents were from CALD backgrounds. The workforce exhibited even greater diversity, with up to 50% of staff interviewed identifying as CALD. The median age of residents was 88 years and the median months in the home was 29.5. Findings revealed that many residents and their families perceived diversity as an attraction, rather than a problem, although cross-cultural communication difficulties were widely recognized. Some residents demonstrated proactive action that facilitated cross-cultural communication with staff. Meeting residents’ culturally appropriate dietary needs was also a challenge. Residents had high expectations that staff would see them as individuals and meet their psychosocial care needs.Conclusions:This study reveals that residents generally have a positive view of diversity and are capable of facilitating cross-cultural communication. The study also confirms previous studies that cultural diversity adds more complexity in meeting residents’ food preferences and psychosocial care needs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventRe-Imagining Our Future, 49th AAG Conference -
    Duration: 2 Nov 2016 → …


    ConferenceRe-Imagining Our Future, 49th AAG Conference
    Period2/11/16 → …


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