Everyone belongs at Uniting

Roger Ho - an older Chinese man is smiling at the camera

Everyone belongs at Uniting

Mr Roger Ho lives at Uniting Quong Tart – a Chinese aged care service in Ashfield.

He came to Australia by boat nearly 60 years ago when he was in his late teens and forged a life here. To begin with he worked in his uncle’s grocery story, and then later at a market garden and a factory, learning English along the way.

Mr Ho says that before he moved into aged care he didn’t know that culturally-specific services existed, and he had “not much expectation” of what life would be like at such a place. But at Uniting Quong Tart he can play mahjong, participate in Tai Chi, and take part in prayers in his native language. Chinese cultural events are celebrated and Chinese meals are served.

“I feel that living here is like living at home,” says Mr Ho.

All staff at Uniting Quong Tart are bilingual or trilingual, speaking Mandarin and Cantonese so residents can speak their mother tongue.

Uniting Executive Director Peter Worland says: “Culture and language is a major part of human identity. At Uniting we know that ensuring the wellbeing of older people requires an understanding of the whole person.”

Uniting Quong Tart is one of two Uniting services dedicated to residents of Chinese heritage. The Quong Tart building itself was even once the residence of Mei Quong Tart, a Chinese merchant, and has been refurbished and restored to preserve the oriental design.

Mr Worland says, “The significance of culturally appropriate aged care cannot be overstated. Entering residential care or receiving care in the home can be daunting for anyone – people fear losing their independence, some fear isolation if they relocate. Culturally and linguistically diverse seniors may also fear losing connection to their communities – to live each day with unfamiliar food, language and culture.”

Services such as Uniting Quong Tart create real homes for people like Mr Ho, and celebrate his Chinese identity. At Uniting, we know from firsthand experience how much it enriches the entire organisation when we have diverse clients and staff.

Get in touch

For more information about our aged care services, get in touch on 1800 864 846 or email ask@uniting.org

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