Greek social care organizations in Australia have appealed recently for more native Greek- speaking care givers for the elderly.
The managing director of the Higher Education Institute (ITHEA), Panagiotis Iasonides, was in Greece last week to court care workers who might consider moving to Australia to work with the elderly.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, Iasonides said that there are nursing homes in Australia, and particularly in the Victoria, region, that are in desperate need of native Greek speakers.
“Most Greeks came to Australia in the ’50s,’ 60s and ’70s. As a result, the first generation has reached the age of retirement and many are in need of help,” he said.
“There is a high demand. The elderly, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s, often get to the point of forgetting the English language that they have learned here and return to their native Greek language, and we also have many cases where the patient “switches” to his native language,” Iasonides explained.
In regard to the qualifications of the candidates, the educational director pointed out that they should have completed their secondary education “and have some interest in the elderly.”
Iasonides continued by saying that the next stage for prospective workers would be taking the courses that are offered in order to obtain the necessary certificates to become a professional caregiver for the elderly.
As part of this effort, he noted that the ITHEA educational group in Melbourne, recognized as an official educational institution in Australia, is organizing free informational seminars in late August to early September in Athens and Thessaloniki.
All possible assistance to the candidates who are interested in becoming caregivers in Australia will be provided through this group.
All those who are interested in participating in the seminars or obtaining information concerning this opportunity should contact the ITHEA institute at [email protected]