Staff learn Greek to support elderly

IT’S no wonder St Basil’s Nursing Home in Lakemba is a leader in aged care facilities in the Greek community, with 150 staff learning to speak Greek to ease the communication barriers between residents and staff.

The lessons are in collaboration with Macquarie University and will run three times a week over a one-year period at the Lakemba facility. 

Currently, only 18 per cent of staff at St Basil’s, speak Greek.

A spokesperson says that often, non-Greek speaking staff members will seek a Greek staff member to translate what the resident is asking for. 

“To be able to train staff to speak and respond with basic words and sentences in Greek, will allow residents to feel more at home and find comfort,” she said.

“Staff will be taught basic sentences that will be taught to include ‘I need some water’, ‘I want to go to bed’ and ‘I am experiencing chest pains’.

“These basic sentences and phrases will be relevant and will cover content applicable in daily health and life.”

The home received $15,000 from Canterbury League Club to assist with the project.

Canterbury League Club Chairman George Coorey said they were “proud to support a community initiative that will help provide more efficient response time to the residents and create a home like environment”.