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Around 70,000 New Zealanders live with dementia right now, which is set to more than double by 2050. This increase is expected to be much faster for Māori, Pasifika and Asian communities.

In September, Alzheimers NZ launched the Dementia Economic Impact Report 2020, produced by a team of researchers from the University of Auckland. This latest study has just confirmed what a monumental challenge dementia will be for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Existing dementia support services are woefully inadequate now, and are nowhere near what’s required to cope with this growing challenge.

In this episode, we discuss the impact of dementia with two of the researchers behind the report, Etu Ma’u and Makarena Dudley, who are both Senior Lecturers at Auckland University.

Etu Ma’u comes from Tonga. As well as lecturing, he is a specialist old age psychiatrist at Waikato Hospital. He also has a strong interest in dementia risk reduction and in equity, particularly for Pacific populations.

Makarena Dudley (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu) has been researching mate wareware dementia in Māori since 2015, focusing on the development of a theory of dementia from a Māori worldview, a dementia screening tool specifically for Māori, and an app for awareness and prevention.