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Respecting cultural diversity through language skills

10th August 2020 | 3 mins
Teaching Italian

Honouring and respecting the cultural diversity, heritage, languages, values and beliefs of our residents and team members is incredibly important in our care communities.

To learn about and honour each individual’s heritage we embrace cultural days in our care communities, where residents and team members share stories of their history or cook traditional meals together. Recently our team and residents at Opal Hobsons Bay had a fabulous time creating Italian-style arts and crafts and cooking pizza on Italian Independence Day, while at Opal Paynesville, residents served up chicken cacciatore and enjoyed an Italian dress up for the occasion.

In Western Australia, our team at Opal Murray River spent time learning more about the cultural heritage of our Indigenous residents. A team member says, “We listened to traditional digeridoo music and learnt about the Bungaree Ku-ring-gai Broken Bay bedtime story.” Our team invited elders in the local Aboriginal community to share stories of Aboriginal culture and history with our residents. Mary, who lives at Opal Murray River was honoured to make posters for fellow resident Ron, who has Indigenous heritage. “I have always respected the Indigenous culture, I do feel terrible that I don’t know enough about it but it’s so nice to do things like this for someone who is a part of the culture and learn things even at my age. What a pleasure.”

We strive to make our residents feel at home as much as possible and embracing the cultural diversity and the different languages of our residents is important in creating truly inclusive care communities.

Our team at Opal Windward Manor has started bi-monthly language classes led by our Italian speaking residents who teach our care team. The classes, led by residents Teresa and Joseph have been a huge hit and they have had no shortage of attendees!

Nirav, our Lifestyle Coordinator at Windward Manor says “It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to help our residents share their culture and be front and centre in the process. As a team member, we play a very important part in providing the best quality personal care that they can receive. By speaking another language, we can provide better personal care to our residents who are not familiar with the English language. For residents, it’s very satisfying to be able to accurately communicate their care needs by speaking their native language with us.”

Our Windward Manor team is holding fortnightly Italian lessons and plans to expand classes to include other languages spoken within the home.

 


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