Café Style Support Program

Diversitat Aged Support ‘Café Style Support Program’ is offered to all of the many culturally diverse senior communities in the Geelong region. It is a social support and information based program offered to diverse groups of older people, funded by the Federal Government Department of Health. Therefore the program/service comes at no cost to the participant. Diversitat Aged Support has tailored the program to the needs of older CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) members of the community, and the person that helps them (carer) to stay living at home independently for as long as possible. The carer could be their wife or husband, son or daughter, friend or neighbour.

The program has accommodated smaller groups of 20 people, through to larger groups of 60+ people. The program consists of approximately 6 sessions per group, where a meal is provided along with a guest speaker (and interpreter) giving information on a service/resource, beneficial to the participant. We have had speakers come and talk to us about: My Aged Care (the national portal everyone must use to receive services); Centrelink payments/entitlements, along with assets & gifting; the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP); Barwon Regional Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) for funded packages of care; Residential costs and process; Respite Care; Regional Assessment Services for CHSP clients to remain at home with paid care; Strength, Balance and Memory help; Diversitat Social Support programs and Planned Activity Groups, and Diversitat’s Access and Support Worker role – which is individual help for carers and clients.

Our latest Cafe Style Support group (that recently finished their last session), was a large group from the Croatian Community Centre (Cox Rd). 61 people signed up for the program, it was fantastic! On each of the scheduled session dates, participants met at their community centre and a McHarry’s bus took the group to a venue for lunch and information session, dropping everyone back to the community centre once finished. Each session was very well received by everyone that attended, the guest speakers, and venue hosts alike. Individual members of the group commented on how helpful the program was, providing important service and support information, along with brochures for further reading and contact information at home. Strong bonds are formed between staff and participants, due to the number of social outings experienced together. It truly is a lovely program.

Every group that takes part in the program, are very thankful for the social connection, mutual support and encouragement, and access to important information about resources for older people. Diversitat Aged Support encourage your community groups to take advantage of the fabulous Café Style Support Program.

If you would like further information regarding the program, please call Jasmin Findlay at our centre on 5222 7275.