A Cultural Model for Dementia Care in Residential Aged Facilities

By: Allanah Harrington   Dianna Mc Gregor  

Several frameworks of dementia care have emerged in an attempt to meet the cultural challenges that are associated with residential aged care. The population of ethnic minorities in residential care is increasing internationally, highlighting the need for culturally appropriate models of care. This presentation will describe the development of the ‘TORU’ model, a ‘Te Ao’ (Māori worldview) approach to promote cultural care of Māori people with dementia living in residential care and to enhance younger people’s cultural knowledge and skills. The foundation of the TORU model is based on cultural knowledge and practice (tikanga) (Durie, 1985). Collaboration between Māori high school students (14-17 year olds), Māori dementia residents, and a secondary care Māori gerontology nurse specialist, underpins this innovative model and is reflected in the ‘toru pyramid’. What is unique is the relationship that develops between ‘old’ (residents) and ‘young’ (students). The model provides a space for sharing cultural knowledge and reinstates purpose in the lives of people with dementia. It builds partnership and respect resulting in mutual benefit for all involved. Key to its success is that the culture of ethnic minorities is placed at the centre of the collaboration pyramid. A strength of this model is that it facilitates future research and practice in dementia care in residential services and links cultural competency through intergenerational relationships. TORU is an innovative model that can benefit all ethnic minorities.

Dementia, Culture, Ethnic Minorities
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Allanah Harrington

Trainee Cardiac Sonographer, Cardiology, Counties Manukau District Health Board, New Zealand
New Zealand

Dianna Mc Gregor

Maori Clinical Nurse Director , Auckland & Waitemata DHBs, New Zealand
New Zealand