MANDARIN and Cantonese-speaking volunteers are helping seniors in Sydney's inner west understand the aged care system.
The Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW's Aged Care Navigators trial is now up and running in Ashfield, which has a high Chinese population.
At the COTA NSW Information Hub trained volunteers are available to help people understand the government's myagedcare website, register for services and provide help filling in forms.
Supporting the local Chinese community is a focus of the Ashfield hub and there are trained volunteers who speak Mandarin and Cantonese ready to help.
Mary Bills is the NSW project coordinator. "Face-to-face help may be more important for some older people," she said.
"They can sit down with someone who is knowledgeable, patient and can take the time needed to talk through the process.'
She said the hub provides a relaxed, supportive environment where people can learn about home care, residential care, different levels of care and what services are available locally.
The hub is held at Activity Room 4 in the Inner West Council offices in Ashfield, every Tuesday from 11am to 3pm.
People can make an appointment in advance or just drop in on the day.
A spokesperson for Inner West Council said: "Council is delighted to partner with COTA NSW in working to support older members of the community to navigate the aged care system.
"For our community members this means they can access the support they need to remain independent in their home."
There is also a hub in Wollongong. This is held every second Wednesday from 9.30am to 1pm at Wollongong Library, next sessions on July 10 and 24.
For more information, or to make an appointment for either hub, phone 0431 431 817 or email email@example.com
The Aged Care Navigator Trial is being delivered as part of a consortium led by COTA Australia and funded by the government.
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