Summary of learning journey

This guided learning journey explores the impact of cognitive decline, in this case dementia, on one immigrant Chinese family.  The family’s contact with a range of health professionals begins following a crisis call made by the elderly woman, Sui Fang.


During this learning journey you will explore  Sui Fang’s health needs, and the support services provided to her and her family by paramedics and the Chinese community health team, including nurses and social workers. The influence of cultural values and beliefs and the importance of culturally safe care for Sui Fang is also addressed.




Student instructions

Click on the icon below to open the students instructions.

Student instructions Sui (PDF 384KB)




Learning objectives

On completion of this module students will be enabled to:

  • Outline the signs of dementia (early, mid, late) and how it differs from delirium
  • Discuss the impact of culturally mediated stigma in relation to mental health and dementia
  • Critically reflect on personal attitudes and values regarding cultural interpretations of dementia/mental illness
  • Discuss the concerns of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) families in relation to dementia/mental illness
  • Outline the impact of therapeutic communication skills when engaging with an older person from a CALD background who has a dementia/mental illness
  • Determine effective appropriate, person-centred, and culturally safe communication strategies to communicate with a person who has dementia/mental illness  
  • Identify and discuss the roles and services provided by community mental health teams and other members of the health care team
  • Identify the strategies used by health professionals in the provision of person-centred care to CALD people with dementia/mental illness



This learning journey was written by Professor Margaret McAllister and Professor Tracy Levett-Jones.

Margaret McAllister is Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Central Queensland University. She is a Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing and a credentialled mental health nurse, as well as a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing. With an extensive nursing and academic career, McAllister has authored well over 100 refereed journal articles, and 7 books. Her current research projects are in history, mental health promotion and narratives of health and well-being.

Professor Tracy Levett-Jones is the Deputy Head of School (Teaching and Learning),  School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Director of the Research Centre for Health Professional Education in the at the University of Newcastle. She has authored ten books, the most recent being “Clinical Reasoning: Learning to think like a nurse” and Critical Conversations for Patient Safety. Tracy has conducted a wide range of educational research projects and has been awarded ten national teaching and learning awards.



Supporting resources

These resources will help orient you to the learning materials presented in this learning journey

Alzheimer's Australia - What is dementia?


Understanding Chinese Culture- Cathy Chong, President, Chinese Welfare Services SA


Meeting the Executive Officer - Kam Chiu, Executive Officer, Chinese Welfare Services SA



Sui's story

Click on the picture to take you to the learning materials.


1. Sui's story

2. Emergency call

3. An hour later


4. One week later




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This project is a collaboration between the following project partners.