THE DIVERSITY CONFERENCE 2001

Redefining the Mainstream: Local Government, Inclusive Communities

The Second National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism, Immigration and Human Rights


 

Elizabeth Drozd
Director, Australian-Polish Community Services Inc, Victoria

Polish Elderly: Issues and Challenges for the Next 10 Years

Abstract:
The Polish community in Victoria has one of the largest number of older persons and the first to reach peak demand for support services. Because of this and other socio-economic factors which impede fair access to services, planning and a pro-active approach to meeting Polish elderly's needs is of particular importance. Polish elderly have a very low usage(4. 5%) of Home and Community Care services and its elderly are reluctant to ask for help until crisis occurs. At the beginning of 2001, the Australian-Polish Community Services initiated the development of a 10-Year Polish Aged Care Plan with assistance from Jenny Ashby and Associates. Almost 100 people were consulted state-wide. Key findings and actions were categorised into five areas: Support for Polish older people living in own home, Carers, Dementia, Support for Polish older people in rural and regional Victoria, and Residential Aged Care. Further the Plan recommends a focus on: Advocacy, Partnerships, Service System Resourcing - Community Education and reducing Community Isolation, and provision of Direct Services. The Plan has generated a significant amount of interest and can be of value to other aging ethnic communities as well as general service providers.

Bionote:
For the last 10 years Elizabeth has worked, in a paid and voluntary capacity, on a fair go for the Polish community in Victoria. Two years ago she returned to again work for the Australian-Polish Community Services, based the Western suburbs of Melbourne, after working for five years with the City of Brimbank. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Multicultural Studies and a Master of Arts in Social Sciences which involved a comprehensive research study into the settlement of the 1980s wave of Solidarity immigrants in Melbourne. She has authored and co-authored a number of reports. Her latest initiatives has been a 10-Year Polish Aged Care Plan.

Presentation Type
30 min. Paper

Equipment Requirements:
OHP

 


Deakin Woolstores Campus, Geelong Waterfront
30 November - 1 December 2001


 

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