Urgent need for bi-lingual carers as dementia numbers increase across Victoria

An increase in people living with dementia has seen a spike in demand for carers with diverse language and cultural skills as people with dementia revert back to their birth or native tongue.

HammondCare at Home Manager (Melbourne), Andrew Haszard, said there was an urgent need for people who could speak Italian, Greek, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Macedonian to support people who wanted to stay in their homes.

“At the moment 70 per cent of people with dementia are living in the community and many want to stay at home as long as possible. One of the obstacles to this is that a person who spoke a language other than English as a child often returns to that language as their dementia progresses.”

Mr Haszard said even if the person with dementia was fluent in English it was not uncommon for them to revert to the language they spoke in their youth.

“Sometimes people will switch between the two which highlights the need for bi-lingual speakers.

“As well we have noticed that cultural issues such as food, music and rituals from the past become increasingly important.”

Mr Haszard said HammondCare at Home was undertaking a major recruitment campaign to attract bi-lingual carers who had an interest in helping older people to stay at home.

North Melbourne Area Manager, Andrew Haszard.

“Carers don’t need to have formal qualifications – we are looking for people who have a passion for caring for older people and we provide all the necessary training and support.”

Currently more than 100,000 Victorians are living with dementia.

To arrange an interview with Andrew, please contact HammondCare Public Affairs on 02 92686758.