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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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.