People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities can often face difficulties accessing culturally appropriate information about dementia, which can become a barrier to timely diagnosis and access to dementia-specific treatment and services.
In any language, navigating dementia and aged care support can be complex and, often, confusing. With additional cultural and language barriers, this is even more so. That’s why Dementia Australia has ‘navigators’ to help people living with dementia, their families and carers to better find their way to services relevant to them.
The Dementia Care Navigators make it easier to access and transition between relevant services such as My Aged Care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Dementia Australia has several Dementia Care Navigator services across Australia focused on providing dementia-specific support.
In Western Sydney, the Dementia Care Navigator is focused on helping people from CALD backgrounds, where English may not be the primary language or the language spoken at home. This may include people with a diagnosis of dementia, their families and/or their carers. This service is free and is available to people living in Western Sydney, specifically Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta and The Hills Shire.
Nina Catalano is the Dementia Care Navigator based in Blacktown. Earlier this year, Nina delivered three dementia sessions to 100 members of the Maltese Community of New South Wales based in Llandilo (near Penrith), Greystanes and Fairfield.
The feedback Nina has received from these sessions was overwhelmingly positive. One participant stated that she enjoyed the session so much because she felt that Nina was speaking to them as if they were family and not just giving out information.
Dementia Australia is committed to meeting the linguistic needs of all members of the community and the Dementia Care Navigator service can be accessed with an interpreter.
The Dementia Care Navigator in Western Sydney is delivered by Dementia Australia and funded by Western Sydney Primary Health Network, also known as WentWest.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has meant Dementia Navigator services are now being delivered in a modified way. Nina will be able to offer online video conference sessions to a small group as well as provide phone and email support.
If you or someone you know would benefit from this service, please encourage them to call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 to find out more or make an appointment. We can offer direct support, information, referrals, advice, assistance and resources for people living with dementia, their family and carers.