Nursing home to cater for older Muslims
ارزشها - روز سوم یکشنبه (16-12-1394) - جمادی الثانی 1437 - مسجد محمدی -
A new nursing home being built next to a mosque in Sydney is one of the first in the country catering to Muslim-Australians
More than 170,000 Australians live in residential aged care, with that number expected to rise in coming decades.
As Australia's population becomes more culturally diverse, aged care facilities are adapting.
A new nursing home being built next to a mosque in Sydney is one of the first in the country designed to cater to Australia's Muslim population.
Soon caring for Muslim elders will be an official extension of life at the Gallipoli Mosque in Sydney with Gallipoli Health Services to soon begin construction of a nursing home specifically designed with Muslim residents in mind.
Despite not currently needing to be in aged care, Durdu Murat Sengul who worships at the mosque welcomed the facility.
"It will help to have a nursing home. I don't have the need to go to one yet, but I am always going to medical appointments."
Nihal Uckan one of the directors of Gallipoli Welfare Services says although it's open to everyone - it aims to meet the needs of local Muslims, many of whom are migrants from Turkey.
She said the location of the not-for-profit facility will help decrease isolation amongst residents.
"People can visit each other when they do come for prayers and visit the elderly at the same time. And I think that diverse communities have such a big need for in our community for services that are specific to our needs and not mainstream."
After developing alzheimers disease Nihal Uckan's father Ihsan Kaglar, a migrant from Turkey, was placed in aged care.
She wanted him somewhere both the Turkish language and the Muslim faith were understood, but no such place existed.
"The care that he was receiving in an extremely five star nursing home, did not meet his needs there were just so many cultural barriers that they just could not understand."
Barriers such as language and dietary requirements just some of the things she hopes this nursing home will address.
Census data shows 2.2 per cent of Australians identified as Muslim coming from over 60 different backgrounds - The facility will have Turkish, Arabic, Hindi and Urdu speaking staff amongst others.
Ergun Genel works in the mosque organizing educational tours.
He said there is a great need in the community for a purpose built facility.
"Our survey has shown that we have hundreds of our Muslim uncles and Aunties, and grandfathers who are residing in non-Muslim nursing homes and they don't feel comfortable, they don't speak the language so they can't communicate."
With many first generation migrants reverting back to their first language after a diagnosis of dementia, living somewhere where they are understood is paramount.
Mr Ganel said residents can be confident their needs will be met.
"By having our own nursing home here by the mosque they will be able to get regular visits and they will feel that what they are eating and drinking is to their requirements, and they will be able to communicate with people who are next to them."
Proportionally, most aged care residents are women - they often out live men.
Hulya who has worshiped at the mosque since the late 1970s said amongst her friends there is a real need for the facility.
"I am very very happy. This nursing home, because Turkish people need it you know. Because Turkish people need it, because everyone is old now," she said.
This will be the first facility in New South Wales catering to Muslims, another exists in Victoria.