What Is CALD and Why Is It Important?

What is CALD? Read this article to learn about CALD communities in Australia and the profound impact they have on our society and the aged care system.

Haisey Home Care
February 7, 2024
x min read

Australia is more diverse than people realise. 

CALD communities in Australia bring together various cultures and languages. But what is CALD, and why is it important?

CALD refers to communities with various cultural backgrounds and languages.

Understanding CALD is crucial in areas like healthcare, education, and social services. It ensures fair access to services and promotes an inclusive environment. It also recognises the value of diversity. 

In this article, we will talk about the meaning of CALD. We will also explore the importance of these communities and the unique perspectives they bring.

Additionally, we will discuss CALD home care services.

Definition of CALD

CALD stands for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. 

This term refers to Australian communities from various countries. These people brought with them different cultures and languages. 

It's a bureaucratic acronym used in public and community sectors.

But not everyone may necessarily identify themselves as CALD. This term is not always as straightforward as it should be.

Australia is home to CALD communities from 190 different countries. It's estimated they speak over 400 languages. A total of 167 of them are actively spoken Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

These languages include:

  1. Mandarin
  2. Arabic
  3. Vietnamese 
  4. Cantonese
  5. Punjabi
  6. Greek
  7. Italian

Almost half of all Australians have either been born overseas or have parents born overseas. According to another source, one in every four Australians was born overseas.

Most foreign-born citizens come from the United Kingdom and New Zealand. But, the number of those born in China and India has increased since 2012.

Since then, over six million people born overseas have arrived in Australia.

What's more, over one-fifth of Australians speak a language other than English at home. 

This rich diversity of cultures and languages is what defines CALD communities in Australia.

Why is CALD Important?

CALD includes Australian communities with various ethnicities, cultures, and languages. They play a vital role in shaping Australia's society, economy, and culture. 

CALD is important for several reasons, including:

  • Healthcare access
  • Education and social services
  • Social inclusion and integration
  • Legal and policy implications
  • Business and workforce diversity

CALD communities can face barriers in different aspects of life. The most common example is accessing healthcare services. This can happen because of language differences, cultural nuances, and varying health beliefs. 

That's why it's so important to tailor healthcare services to their needs. It promotes better health outcomes. It also ensures fair access to care.

Healthcare services for CALD individuals put culturally sensitive care first. They also provide help with language barriers. 

Educational institutions offer language support programs. They allow CALD individuals to integrate into the education system more effectively.

CALD communities offer a wealth of knowledge through diverse languages. They provide opportunities for language exchange and appreciation.

It helps create a more inclusive society. People from different backgrounds can feel accepted and valued. This contributes to social harmony. 

CALD is also important in the business world. 

Recognising and embracing CALD diversity leads to inclusive workplaces. Diverse teams bring different perspectives and ideas. This fosters creativity and innovation.

Challenges Faced by CALD Individuals

CALD communities symbolise diversity. They bring with them unique challenges from different cultural backgrounds. 

CALD individuals face various challenges when they join a new country and society. These include:

  • Language barriers
  • Cultural misunderstandings
  • Discrimination and racism
  • Social isolation
  • Health disparities
  • Education challenges
  • Employment barriers

One of the main challenges is the language barrier. 

Many CALD individuals may not be proficient in English. This can prevent them from communicating effectively. It also prevents them from accessing essential services. 

As a result, they may face difficulties in finding employment. They might also not be able to access healthcare and engage with the community.

Another challenge is cultural adjustment. CALD individuals may experience cultural shock. They may find it challenging to adapt to the customs, norms, and values of Australian society. 

They may also face discrimination and prejudice based on their cultural or linguistic background.

CALD individuals may struggle with social isolation and a sense of belonging. 

These challenges highlight the importance of providing support and resources to CALD individuals. This support can help them overcome barriers and take part in Australian society.

CALD Aged Care Services

Aged care services are designed for elderly Australians who need help with everyday living.

When it comes to CALD communities, they can apply for special CALD aged care services. These services are for older individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. 

They provide culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate care to elderly people. These people may have unique requirements because of their diverse backgrounds. 

Here are some key aspects of CALD aged care services in Australia:

  1. Cultural sensitivity
  2. Language support
  3. Culturally appropriate activities
  4. Staff training
  5. Community engagement
  6. Accessible information

CALD aged care services prioritise cultural sensitivity. They consider the traditions, customs, and beliefs of people from diverse backgrounds. 

These services also provide language support. The goal is effective communication between the staff and elderly individuals. 

This may involve:

  • Employing bilingual staff
  • Offering translation services
  • Using multilingual resources

CALD aged care services often organise culturally appropriate activities and programs.

This can include celebrations, traditional music, and activities that reflect the cultural diversity of the residents.

Staff in CALD aged care services undergo training to improve their cultural competence. 

This training helps them better understand and respond to the diverse needs of older individuals. It also fosters a more inclusive and respectful environment.

Collaboration with community organisations and leaders is common in CALD aged care services. 

This helps in building trust within the community. It also makes it easier for families to be involved in the care process.

Providing information in multiple languages is important for a number of reasons. 

Elderly clients and their families can understand and access relevant details about aged care services. This can include the eligibility criteria and available support.

CALD Aged Care at Home

Some elderly CALD members may want to remain living at home. That is what CALD home care services are for. 

They are designed to help get the help they need in the comfort of their home. Home care services are tailored to their unique cultural and language needs. 

Here are some key features of CALD Home Care services:

  1. Personalised care plans
  2. Community engagement
  3. Flexible services
  4. Culturally appropriate activities 
  5. Personal care 
  6. Family involvement
  7. Holistic care approach

Home care plans are tailored to the client's needs. Their cultural and linguistic preferences are taken into consideration.

This may include dietary requirements, cultural activities, and social interactions.

CALD home care services often engage with community organisations. Doing so builds trust and allows families to take part in the care process. 

This can contribute to a more supportive and culturally enriched care environment.

These services are flexible. They can include a range of supports. For example, personal care, nursing, help with daily activities, and social support. 

The goal is to allow them to continue living independently in their own homes.

To promote social well-being, CALD home care organisations may arrange culturally appropriate activities and events. 

This helps in maintaining a connection to cultural roots. It also fosters a sense of belonging.

Home care services often involve and collaborate with family members in the care planning and decision-making process. This can enhance the support network for the person receiving care.

CALD home care services often adopt a holistic approach. Such an approach doesn't only consider physical needs. The emotional, social, and spiritual well-being are also taken into account.

This can involve incorporating cultural activities that contribute to well-being.

Find Your CALD Home Care Provider

CALD individuals are a vibrant and significant part of the community. With a rich diversity of cultures and languages, these communities contribute to the social, economic, and cultural growth of the country.

For elderly members of the CALD community, finding an aged care solution is very important. 

Haisey Home Care offers Home Care Package programs for members of the CALD community. Our team of dedicated care professionals are here to make your lives at home as comfortable as possible.

If you want to know more about our home care services, feel free to reach out to us. You can also book a free, no-obligation consultation