Aged care facility for South Asian seniors gets off the ground

Foundation tile unveiled for Phase 2 of Sri Om Care’s Assisted Living Project in Western Sydney

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This week, a 2022 election promise made by Labor towards ethno-specific aged care came to fruition.

As the foundation tile was unveiled for Sri Om Care’s Assisted Living Project in Western Sydney, Dr Andrew Charlton MP for Parramatta, was present on the occasion.

He had made the original announcement, for $6 million, with funds to go for the Sydney-based social enterprise led by Mr. Jayaraman OAM.

Sri Om Care will build a 20-bed facility at Lalor Park for the region’s South Asian seniors, providing them the comfort of culturally-appropriate food, language, culture and companionship in their retirement years.

The event marked a milestone not only for Sri Om Care but also for the ageing population of migrants from the Indian background, among the fastest growing migrant groups in this country.

Sri Om Care’s Assisted Living; Aged Care
Unveiling of the foundation tile: Dr Andrew Charlton MP and Devi Ma (Source: Supplied)

The Indian High Commissioner in Australia Mr Gopal Baglay led the dignitaries who attended, including Lord Mayor of Parramatta Pierre Esber, Ms Donna Davis (NSW MP for Parramatta representing the NSW Premier and NSW Multicultural Minister), Councillor Reena Jethi of the Hills Shire Council, and Hindu spiritual leader Sri Om Adi Sakthiyendra Swamigal Devi Ma, in whose name Jayaraman’s organisation is founded.

Sri Om Care’s Assisted Living; Aged Care
Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bagley (Source: Supplied)

“I am incredibly honoured to have helped deliver Sri Om Care for the local community in Western Sydney,” Dr Charlton said. “The challenges between integration and tradition in the migrant communities are many, and this struggle is more prominent for people in the later years. Ethno-specific services go a long way in providing enhanced connectedness and mental wellbeing for older people from diverse backgrounds.”

Mr. Jayaraman, Vice President, explained that this project was supported by Australian Government and developed under the Commonwealth guidelines. “Sri Om Foundation aims to construct, and fit-out a Transitional Care/Respite Care Service within the precinct of Western Sydney Gateway (Lalor Park) close to amenities and transport. The facility, which is expected to be operative by June 2025, will accommodate 20 residents and include space for staff, team meetings, offices, and an activities-centre, offering person-centered, culturally appropriate and responsive care to the South Asian heritage community.”

A detailed list of services, based on individual needs is available here.

NSW MP for Parramatta, Donna Davis (Source: Supplied)

For Mr. Jayaraman, of course, the occasion marked the realisation of a dream that began as far back as the 1990s, as he observed his own parents struggle to adapt in their later years.

He launched Sri Om Care in the early 2000s, to address the needs of a growing South Asian senior population.

In 2007 the organisation launched its first centre-based Respite program to promote inclusion and decrease social isolation among the seniors of the sub-continent.

In the past 18 years, Sri Om Care has expanded its services to include retirement living, self-funded care packages, Home Care packages, NDIS disability services and Assisted Living and Respite Care packages (phase one and two).

Addressing the gathering, the chairperson of the organisation Sri Om Adisakthyendra Swamigal (Devi Ma) explained the mission statement of Sri Om Care – ‘Humanity Leads Divinity’: service to humanity was the foundation on which all the activities of Sri Om Care were designed, she said.

Sri Om Care’s Assisted Living; Aged Care
Devi Ma (Source: Supplied)

Elaborating on the growth of the organisation over the past 18 years, she described, “Through Sri Om Care, over 900 seniors have been benefiting from person-centered care across various suburbs in Sydney. Over 200 frail aged seniors are receiving in-home care, Flexible / Short-Term Restorative / Transition care. We remain dedicated to offering a positive alternative to traditional residential care.”

Mr Gopal Bagalay, Indian High commissioner drew parallels between the journey of the Indian diaspora in Australia and the journey of Sri Om Care that is gearing up to meet the social, cultural and language needs of the growing diaspora. Commending the work of the organisation, he quoted from the Indian scriptures when he said the hall mark of any civilisation, is to help those in need.

Other community leaders who spoke on this occasion congratulated Sri Om Care on the remarkable milestones it has achieved in providing culturally appropriate aged care services and the positive impact it has had on individuals and families.

Read More: Labor commits $6 million to ethno-specific aged care

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