Help seeking in older Asian people with dementia in Melbourne: using the Cultural Exchange Model to explore barriers and enablers

Betty Haralambous, Briony Dow, Jean Tinney, Xiaoping Lin, Irene Blackberry, Victoria Rayner, Sook-Meng Lee, Freda Vrantsidis, Nicola Lautenschlager, Dina Logiudice
Journal of Cross-cultural Gerontology 2014, 29 (1): 69-86
The prevalence of dementia is increasing in Australia. Limited research is available on access to Cognitive Dementia and Memory Services (CDAMS) for people with dementia from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. This study aimed to determine the barriers and enablers to accessing CDAMS for people with dementia and their families of Chinese and Vietnamese backgrounds. Consultations with community members, community workers and health professionals were conducted using the "Cultural Exchange Model" framework. For carers, barriers to accessing services included the complexity of the health system, lack of time, travel required to get to services, language barriers, interpreters and lack of knowledge of services. Similarly, community workers and health professionals identified language, interpreters, and community perceptions as key barriers to service access. Strategies to increase knowledge included providing information via radio, printed material and education in community group settings. The "Cultural Exchange Model" enabled engagement with and modification of the approaches to meet the needs of the targeted CALD communities.

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