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Priority populations

The needs of some groups in our community often go unmet by mainstream services. Therefore Seniors Rights Service prioritises assisting the following people:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are the First Nations Peoples of Australia and we recognise their ongoing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging and acknowledge the unique position and contribution made by First Nations Peoples to our culture and our future. We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Australia and, as a rights-based organisation, we are committed to ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are active participants in our operations and activities and that we deliver culturally safe and responsive services to First Nations Seniors living in NSW.

We have a Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2019that guides our strategies and provides focus to increase our engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in all aspects of our work. Listening and learning about their needs and ensuring our services are appropriate and accessible is a priority for Seniors Rights Service. During 2021 we are developing a new Innovate RAP to further deepen our engagement with First Nations Peoples.

We also have a First Nations Employment Strategy to ensure we have inclusive employment practices. We can only achieve greater engagement with, and relevance to, older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with the inclusion of First Nations staff. Building a team that is strong, open and diverse will improve our services for all clients.

Seniors Rights Service’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols and Cultural Safety Plan provide guidance for staff to inform their work and practices. A main objective of these Protocols is to ensure that we are respectful of First Nations cultural beliefs and practices.

We celebrate events including Reconciliation Action Week, NAIDOC Week and the Yabun festival. Around NSW, we engage with First Nations people and communities through education and information sessions, at interagency meetings, though home care providers and with Aboriginal controlled aged care facilities. We also listen at more informal gatherings, such as meetings with Aboriginal Elders groups to hear what their concerns are and how our services can assist.

As an organisation we support the Uluru Statement From the Heart and recognise and support the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the need for a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Australian Constitution.

Culturally and racially marginalised communities

Seniors Rights Service is committed to a culture of inclusion where diversity is recognised, valued and embraced. We want to ensure that our services are appropriate and accessible to all people, no matter what their backgrounds are. Our Inclusion Plan formalises this commitment and will help us to build our capacity to increase the number of older people from diverse communities accessing and using our services and to ensure our workforce is representative of the diversity in our community.

All seniors across NSW should have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the services, programs and activities of Seniors Rights Service. We will remove any barriers to access our service and we will listen and learn from older people from diverse backgrounds so that we can improve our understanding of their specific needs and respond appropriately.

Working with a range of multicultural community groups, we have developed materials and information in Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Punjabi and Greek on issues such as the risks of entering into financial arrangements with family members, potential effects on pensions and legal rights and our services.

Working with peak community bodies representing the Arabic, Chinese and Indian populations, we have developed a number of videos in community languages that specifically address issues of financial abuse of older people.

Our multilingual brochure is here.

To contact our Interpreter Service (TIS) call 131 450.

Disadvantaged and vulnerable

Older people are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our society. Our services endeavour to reach them and ensure that they are supported with appropriate services and advice. While not all older people are vulnerable, many older people are more likely to have issues that lead to being vulnerable, including physical, cognitive and mental health issues, lack of adequate income and financial difficulties, homelessness, disability, and increasing isolation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more vulnerable to poverty and disadvantage than others and are the most disadvantaged people in Australia. Often Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people suffer disadvantage and isolation, especially if they are separated from family and their communities. Endemic racism and ageism within our society can combine to ensure that older people from these communities are especially vulnerable to disadvantage.

Our services prioritise people who are among the lowest income earners, are welfare recipients, are living in supported accommodation or aged care and who are vulnerable to abuse in all its forms, neglect, psychological, sexual, and financial. Seniors Rights Service strives to build awareness of our services amongst disadvantaged and vulnerable people across NSW, particularly in relation to what can be done to combat all forms of the abuse of older people.

LGBTIQ+ communities

As a community whose needs often go unmet by mainstream services and programs, older LGBTIQ+ people are a strong focus for Seniors Rights Service. We attend many important LGBTIQ+ community events, with a Seniors Rights presence at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day, Mardi Gras parade and the annual Parramatta Pride Picnic. We also take part in LGBTIQ+ events held in Seniors Week.

We offer information sessions specifically for LGBTIQ+ communities on ageing, preparing for the future, accessing aged care services and the legal and aged care rights of older LGBTIQ+ people.

We’re continuing to develop our services to this community and a growing number of people are learning about, trusting and using those services.

To talk about how we can host an information event or be a part of your event, please contact us.

People in regional, rural or remote locations in NSW

Many of the people Seniors Rights Service reach live in regional, rural or remote locations. While we are a state-wide telephone service, we also now have aged care advocates situated in many regional towns across NSW, from the Far North and Mid North Coasts, down to the South Coast, South West and Far South Coast, and out to the Central West as far as Broken Hill.

Every year, our staff deliver information sessions across the state in aged care facilities to residents and staff, to home care recipients and their carers and support staff, to residents in retirement villages and to a variety of community groups.

Older people in regional, rural and remote areas are often unable to easily access information about aged care services and we also have two aged care Navigators, one based in Dubbo, and one in Batemans Bay who provide information about the aged care system and assistance that might be available.

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