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Objectives: To investigate the language needs of residents of aged care facilities within the State of Victoria, Australia, and determine what language resources were accessible to them. Methods: Postal questionnaires were sent to 586 aged care facilities, enquiring about residents' and staff members' languages and language-specific resources. Results: The response rate was 38%. The majority of facilities had residents who spoke non-English languages, and 55 different languages were represented. Three-quarters of the facilities employed staff members who spoke to residents in non-English languages and employed language-specific resources. The metropolitan and ethnospecific facilities had a greater presence of non-English-speaking residents and staff and more commonly used language-specific resources in comparison with regional and mainstream facilities. Conclusion: We found a large number of languages used by many residents from non-English-speaking backgrounds, with evidence of a large unmet language resource need. Unmet need was greatest in rural areas.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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