Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

Healthy Ageing Research Unit: Ageing Well In Culturally Diverse Older Males

HappyHACCMan This report discusses the perceptions of health and wellbeing of ageing men from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the Greater Shepparton area of Victoria. 

This study examined the attitudes of older men from diverse backgrounds about their views on health, ageing and feelings about becoming older.

This research provides useful insights into the way that older men perceive health and importantly provides some important consideration releant to health practitioners and designers. 

Key Findings

  • High levels of stress: this stress arises through a need to perform heavy physical work on family farms well into their older age, as well as a lack of uptake of both personal actions and engagement with health services that might reduce this stress.
  • Low levels of health literacy: this was based on a tendency to avoid engagement with health facilities until a really serious problem arose. The men then lived with a variety and diversity of physical and mental issues that went unresolved, and whose effects became compounded by sttess associated with culture, labour and declining physical health.
  • Challenges in communicating health information: due to a variety of perceptions about the health system, many of these men did not or could not actively obtain the kinds of information and assistance they would need to maintain health.

Implications For Health Services

While the research is directed at services operating in Victoria, there are a broader implications for all practitioners running services directed at a CALD male population:

  • Finding ways to bring an awareness of health to the target directly is important. If many older men are still heavily involved in work and rely on family to support them and be suppoerted, then there must be ways to integrate work, family and health access together.
  • There is a need to build knowledge and develop specifically-targeted strategies aimed at CALD men to engage them in preventative health in a way they can understand and use.
  • The need to consider CALD men who are even more inaccessible than most CALD men is important. This might include developing strategies to enbgage with CALD men who are separated, bereaved, with no functional English literacy or childless.

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