Dementia in Māori - optimising care

Date Published: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Understanding and incorporating Māori world views of health care in a dementia setting with inclusive development of pathways promotes a Māori responsive approach. Dr Makarena Dudley will discuss her recent research into constructs of Mate ware ware (becoming forgetful and unwell) from a Māori understanding of dementia.



  • Why are Maori significantly younger when diagnosis of dementia is made?
  • What is the definition of mate ware ware?
  • Why should language and labelling always be a consideration?
  • The four pillars of Māori health
  • Keeping Kaumatua active in their cultural roles


Take home messages

  • Māori are often diagnosed later than others, consider screening earlier.
  • Get whanau involved early.
  • Language is important when discussing dementia in Māori.
  • Consider all four pillars of Māori health.
  • Keep the language alive. Using Te Reo has been shown to be useful linking the patient to their past.



Patient resources



Dr Makarena Dudley

Dr Makarena Dudley is a psychologist who works at the University of Auckland. She teaches cultural competence and co-ordinates cultural input on the Clinical Psychology doctoral programme, also teaching neuropsychology at undergraduate level. She is interested in cognition and the ageing brain, and  lead a large research project to develop a theory and diagnostic tool for dementia in Māori. A strong advocate of increasing Māori workforce capacity in the mental health sector where Māori are disproportionately represented as mental health service users.



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