March 30, 2021
App to help whanau pick signs of mate wareware
The largest-ever study of Māori affected by dementia has resulted in an app to help whānau understand the progressive and debilitating condition.
The Health Research Council-funded project Kaumātuatanga Ō Te Roro – The Ageing Brain found the disease is poorly understood within Māori communities and whānau have difficulty accessing information that might help.
Dr Makarena Dudley from the University of Auckland and Brain Research New Zealand says the Mate Wareware app was developed in collaboration with kaumātua and whānau to be Māori-friendly and in line with tikanga.
Topics covered include what mate wareware is, its types and causes, how to look after whānau who are affected by it and how to identify if someone might be suffering from it.
The number of kaumātua living beyond 65 years and 80 years of age has almost doubled in the last decade, and projections are that by 2026 there will be about 4500 Māori with dementia.
There is also evidence Māori are significantly younger when a diagnosis of dementia is made – 8 years younger than Pākehā and 3 years younger than Pasifika.
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