About Maltese Aged Care

The Maltese Aged Care Association (SA) Inc. (MACASA) was founded in 1994 with the intent of establishing ethno-specific aged care services for our Maltese elderly in South Australia.

The development of MACASA over the years has been rewarding, and at times very challenging.

Here is a brief look at our achievements.

HISTORY OF MACASA

In 1994, a group of Maltese volunteers recognised the need for some form of residential care for our Maltese elderly. A committee met on a regular basis and incorporated our Association under our present name.

In 1995, we undertook a survey of 100 Maltese families in South Australia who were interviewed in their own homes. An extensive list of questions was put to these people regarding their health. This survey presented an opportunity for MACASA members to speak directly to our older people and discuss their needs with them. It also was an opportunity to inform them about the activities of MACASA, and to supply them with information about aged care services that were currently available to them plus possible future options.

The results from the survey identified the need for help at home, and help with Maltese meals, transport and Residential Care. MACASA members volunteered their time for this since no financial assistance was received specifically to conduct this survey. 

Home-delivered or Frozen Pick-up Meals

In 1998, funding was made available to provide a culturally-appropriate meals service. Thanks to the survey previously conducted, we knew where the majority of the elderly Maltese were located, and we were able to plan our kitchen in a central area. In collaboration with the Maltese Guild of SA, we opened our first kitchen in Beverley at the Maltese Cultural Centre in the Western area. As this was a new venture for us, it was no easy task. It was thanks to the resilience and persistence of Charles Bezzina, our Maltese cook at the time, and MACASA that we managed to deliver this service. We are proud that MACASA in South Australia is the only Maltese Association providing a Maltese Meals Service in Australia.

Over time, the demand for Maltese meals grew. In 2003, due to further expansion of the Meals Service, it was necessary to look for a bigger kitchen. After moving to the RSL facility in West Croydon, we eventually relocated our Office and Kitchen to:

Cheltenham Community Centre
62 Stroud Street North
Cheltenham SA 5014

Our current Services Manager, works with a dedicated group of volunteers who deliver the meals and other services to our clients. The fact that our community owns this service is invaluable; a “little Malta” is created in the busy buzz of our kitchen, as the cooks and volunteers happily participate in the preparation and delivery of approximately 50 meals per day. The value of Maltese volunteers delivering the meals lies in the fact that our clients look forward to chatting with them on a regular basis.

Hot meals are delivered fresh daily from Monday to Friday in certain areas. For many people who would like meals but live outside our delivery areas, we have developed a Frozen Meals Program. This program is also available Monday to Friday, and any number of meals can be picked up from our facility either on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

In 2003, an opportunity arose with the then Uniting Care Wesley at Regency Green. Funding was being offered to provide a residential house for ethnic communities. We met, and discussions started, the result of which is our present Maltese wing called “Melita House”. We have Maltese residents at present. MACASA volunteers visit the residents on a weekly basis, and monitor the service to ensure it is ethnically-appropriate.

These MACASA volunteers visit and give Holy Communion to our residents regularly. Father Gabriel also performs Mass for all the residents of Regency Green regularly. The residents find comfort in the fact that they are within their own culture with regard to company and appropriate food. Our Kitchen regularly delivers Maltese meals to those residents.

 

THE ROLE OF MACASA

The role of MACASA is to:

  • Initiate and develop services for our Maltese elderly & wider community,
  • Refer clients to relevant services,
  • Ensure that information is appropriately given out through the Maltese media and wider community, community clubs, etc.,
  • Assist in the ongoing monitoring and assessment of services, and
  • Most of all we ensure that these services are culturally- and linguistically-appropriate.

As you can see at MACASA, we are constantly planning and monitoring all services to continue improving and expanding, particularly seeking where we can develop new services that meet the needs of our community.

The evolution of MACASA since 1994 has been beyond our expectations; we are proud of our achievements. The foundations have been well-laid, and we can only look to the future now.

 

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