January 28, 2013
Tight budgets add stress to dying
A researcher who has spent three years studying the Māori experience of death says poverty is a major factor at the end of life.
Tess Moeke Maxwell interviewed more than 30 whānau who were either caring for someone with a terminal illness or had recently been through that experience.
She says many people think they are the only ones struggling, but many had similar problems around the cost of medication, transport and getting support into the house.
"Unfortunately the health sector is not geared up very well to give information to our whānau to help them understand what services are available to help us, what resources are available to help us, and in some instances there's just not enough. Also it depends on what community you live in. If you live rurally there's perhaps going to be a lot less available to you than if you live in a very well resourced urban sector," she says.
Dr Moeke Maxwell says the Health Research Council-funded Kia Ngawari study could be used to develop tools so people in the palliative care system can better assess the needs of Māori.
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