Poster Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Kaumātua-centred end of life care: Whānau to whakamana their oldest old (#401)

Tess Moeke-Maxwell 1 , Merryn Gott 1 , Janine Wiles 1 , Stella Black 1 , Lisa Williams 1 , Gabriella Trussardi 1 , NgNgaire Kerse 1
  1. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Indigenous whānau (families) are increasingly being called upon to provide end of life care of kaumātua (older) family members. A lack of research evidence on kaumātua and whānau care preferences led members of the Te Ārai Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group to investigate the end of life circumstances of 52 older Māori and non-Māori (80+). This presentation explores the findings of the Māori whānau cohort involving 20 nominated whānau carers. Kaumātua had previously participated in the longitudinal LiLACS NZ study on positive ageing. Each kaumātua nominated a whānau carer to take part in the Pākeketanga study following their death. Face to face interviews were undertaken with bereaved Māori whānau. A mixed-methods approach utilised a questionnaire employing both open and closed questions to gather information about the older person’s end of life circumstances, care preferences and the formal and informal care received. Data was analysed via a Kaupapa Māori and constructivist lens. The findings revealed that whānau utilised a holistic kaumātua-centred care approach meaning that the older person was placed at the centre of care. Care activities were informed by Indigenous values, beliefs and practices; aging and illness were normalised as an accepted part of the life cycle. A key finding highlighted that uplifting the mana (status, authority) of kaumātua throughout the end of life journey informed every aspect of care across different care settings. Whanau tried to ensure the mana of kaumātua was upheld across every dimension of their health including the care of their tinana/physical, hinengaro/mind-emotional and wairua/spiritual essence. The presentation includes a short video on key caregiving practices utilised by Māori whānau to whakamana (empower) the older person. Participants will have a deeper understanding of the cultural care preferences of Māori kaumātua and why holistic end of life care is so important.