November 02, 2018
New strategies needed for kaumātua wave
The head of a Hamilton aged service provider says Te Pou Matakana's Kaumātuatanga report is a timely warning of the challenges Māori society faces because of social and demographic change.
Rangimahora Reddy from Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust says the number of Māori over 65 is expected to double in the next 20 years.
She says because for many the pension is their sole income, they lack the economic resilience to deal with insecure housing and declining health.
While in the past many kaumātua and kuia would live with whānau, in many cases that is no longer possible.
"Many of our whānau have both partners out working to help support the whānau to meet the needs to live in today's time, so having that support network at home is no longer a reality for many of our whanau, not all, but many of our whānau and so our kaumātua are in real need of ensuring we provide that social and cultural context for them to age in," Ms Reddy says.
Māori providers need to get involved so kaumātua can get culturally responsive activities and services.
Rauawaawa is part of a national collective of kaumātua service providers, which is holding a conference in New Plymouth from November 22 to 24.
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