Topic: Empowering Aboriginal people through ‘Booraja’ – a culturally co-designed home care service, supporting Elders into the future.
Day: Monday 19 October 2020
Time: 1:30pm-1:50pm AEDT
Older Aboriginal people are still dying much younger than non-Aboriginal people. One way this can be addressed is through cultural care, which focuses on quality of life to extend life expectancy. Despite this Aboriginal people are underrepresented in accessing Home Care in Australia. Booraja is a service delivery model that addresses this gap and supports independence of ageing Aboriginal people to remain in their own homes, with their kin on country.Older Aboriginal people are still dying much younger than non-Aboriginal people. One way this can be addressed is through cultural care, which focuses on quality of life to extend life expectancy. Despite this Aboriginal people are underrepresented in accessing Home Care in Australia. Booraja is a service delivery model that addresses this gap and supports independence of ageing Aboriginal people to remain in their own homes, with their kin on country.
Holistic wellness is realised through development of services in partnership with the Walbanga Elders’ Council who provide insight and feedback on culturally appropriate services, as well as provide local ties and connections.
Reablement is delivered through a seven stage identification process of peoples’ knowledge of home care, assisting them to access Booraja:1. No knowledge of home care2. Limited knowledge of home care3. Seeking GP referral4. Needing assistance accessing MyAgedCare5. Awaiting ACAT Assessment, need assistance6. Package approved, needs to be allocated7. Package allocated, want to transfer to culturally appropriate provider75% of the older Aboriginal people now accessing Booraja’s services had no knowledge of home care or how to access it.
This approach is also reflected in the Single Aged Care Quality Standards by promoting an individual’s culture and identity, as well as services and supports for daily living. Through the multi-faceted involvement of community, Booraja respects the nuanced approach required to effectively engage and support Aboriginal people in complex environments. This supports the Charter of Aged Care Rights ensuring consumers “have their identity, culture and diversity valued and supported.”Ongoing feedback is received and actioned through the Local Leadership Team. The pilot was evaluated by an independent consultancy specialising in Aboriginal service delivery programs. The findings contributed to understanding the specific cultural group, but also ongoing application of a program model that puts culture and customer at its core.The Integrated Aboriginal Home Care pilot (now Booraja) was funded by the Australian Government’s Dementia and Age Care Services Innovation Fund in 2017. Booraja’s aim was to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Consumer Directed Care. Based on self-determination, Booraja gives Aboriginal people choice and control over the services they access to deliver their care needs.
Older Aboriginal people have low participation rates in the Australian home care system due to three key barriers:- Low levels of trust of government services- Limited knowledge of available services – Lack of a cultural workforce
Booraja tackles these barriers through:- Community Yarn Up sessions to educate potential care workers and care recipients, as well as families and community more broadly, on the employment opportunities within home care.- Development of a culturally competent workforce. Younger Aboriginal people were recruited for Booraja and commenced the Certificate III in Individual Support qualification to meet the care needs of older Aboriginal people.- Tailoring of the range of services, including the addition of cultural care services, as led by the local Elders’ Council.
Results of this approach to-date have been:- 55 Elders receiving a range of services, funded through Home Care Packages and CHSP- Of the older Aboriginal people receiving care, 75% previously had no knowledge of home care or how to access it- During the COVID pandemic, client numbers have grown for Booraja whilst mainstream home care services have seen a reduction in active clients.
Toby is a passionate social impact professional, who provides a different perspective to traditional challenges, believing that there is always a better way. His history working with the Aboriginal communities of the South Coast of NSW planted the seeds of relationship that would eventually grow into Booraja Home Care.
Toby has been involved in Booraja since it was just an idea, taking it through an innovation workshop, successfully receiving funding and launching the pilot project. It has now transitioned operationally to the local Aboriginal community, who are employed in all leadership and care positions.