Culturally safe aged care sites and face-to-face support for older First Nations people are being invested into by the Australian Government.
The programs are anticipated to cost a combined $221 million and will be delivered over four years.
The Trusted Indigenous Facilitators program will build a First Nations workforce to help individual older First Nations people, their families and carers, to access aged care services that meets their physical and cultural needs.
Aged care minister Anika Wells said, "The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended the Government 'ensure that the new aged care system makes specific and adequate provision for the diverse and changing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people' - and so we are doing just that."
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, in partnership with the government, will work with Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations to assist older First Nations people and their families navigate and access aged care services. A workforce of around 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff across Australia will provide this support.
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians, Malarndirri McCarthy, said First Nations communities experience many barriers when accessing aged care services.
"Lack of culturally safe care, a complex system, ongoing trauma, and social and economic disadvantages all contribute to older First Nations people accessing aged care services at a rate lower than needed," she said.
"The government is committed to delivering aged care and health services that meet the needs of our Elders and enables them to remain close to their homes and connected to their communities."
Minister Wells said NATSIFAC services also provide staff housing to ensure workforce retention and projects to improve integrated health services.
"This grant funding empowers older First Nations people, communities and NATSIFAC providers to contribute to the development of contemporary building design, suitable for people living with dementia, limited mobility, cultural needs and aligned with social expectations."
Four National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) services in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland will receive funding to construct culturally safe, purpose-built facilities.
Among them will be the rebuilding of Kaltukatjara's Tjilpi Pampaku Ngura Flexible Aged Care, which which will provide care for First Nations peoples at Docker River.
The development will include:
Australian Regional and Remote Community Services (ARRCS) general manager, Wendy Hubbard, said the location for the rebuild will be close to the existing Tjilpi Pampaku Ngura Flexible Aged Care service.
"That means our residents can stay where they are at Tjilpi Pampaku Ngura Flexible Aged Care and we can continue providing services without disruption, and watch our vision come to life," she said.
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