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With the support of our key stakeholders, we have created a brief overview of each of the diversity characteristics identified in the Aged Care Diversity Framework. The summaries provide a basic introduction to each characteristic and some examples of how these characteristics may impact on an older person’s health and wellbeing and their interaction with aged care services.
These summaries do not provide a complete picture of the evidence, or describe the experiences of any individual, or community as a whole. Every older person is unique – they are not defined by any single characteristic or experience.
Ensuring staff across all levels of your agency understand the diversity of their local community is essential. This builds our capacity to value and validate our diverse communities, and in turn, plan and deliver safe and inclusive services. At a governance, organisational and program level, understanding the diversity within your community is important to being able to create inclusive systems, processes and environments. Each person will have their own lived experience and this should ultimately guide the delivery of safe and inclusive care at an individual level.
The diversity characteristic summaries are designed to:
- Provide an introduction to each diversity characteristic
- Highlight why dedicated effort is required to understand each diversity characteristic
- Reinforce the importance of aged care providers taking a thoughtful approach to planning how to deliver services that are inclusive, appropriate and responsive to the diverse needs of older people
- Support you to reflect on your current knowledge and identify opportunities for further learning (for you and your team)
- Provide reliable resources to support you to continue your learning about each of the diversity characteristics.
Note: We recognise that language around diversity and service delivery is constantly evolving. In the development of these summaries, our choice of terminology has been guided by our key stakeholders who represent experts in the field, peak bodies and specialist agencies. When working with individuals, it’s essential to ask people about their preferred terminology and be guided by the person about the language and terms they identify with and use.