Informal Session: Growing Old in the Pacific
Last year’s session initially focused on the increasing number of older Māori within New Zealand and how their needs might differ from a broader non-Māori population. Our aim was to identify issues and approaches for a study that we have proposed within New Zealand which seeks to determine successful indicators of ageing for Māori. The discussion broadened to include comparison with other Pacific nations and the issues faced by indigenous peoples. The key theme that emerged from the discussion was the impact of globalisation on indigenous communities and how families have spread or become dispersed beyond their traditional homeland or point of origin. This is having an effect on how younger generations are able to support their older family members and how a younger generation can benefit from the familial involvement of their elders. The effects of this diaspora is exacerbated by the structural ageing of the population where older people are becoming a greater proportion of the overall population. We discussed how we might more effectively study the needs of older people within this context and discussed alternative qualitative approaches.
There is clearly recognition, at a societal level, of the value of the ongoing contributions of older people. This will continue to be a focus for us at the 2018 ASAO conference where we will be running a second informal session on ageing well. Participants interested in this session are invited to contact the co-organizers with a suggested topic of interest, intention to participate, or any questions that you might have.
Marama Muru-Lanning, University of Auckland <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Tia Dawes, University of Auckland, <email@example.com>