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Journal Article

Listening to the voices of native Hawaiian elders and 'ohana caregivers: discussions on aging, health, and care preferences

Native Hawaiians, the indigenous people of Hawai'i, are affected by varying social and health disparities that result in high prevalence of chronic disease, early onset of disability, and shorter life expectancy compared to other ethnic groups in Hawai'i. Six listening meetings were conducted, involving 41 community-dwelling kupuna (Native Hawaiian elders) and 'ohana (family) caregivers to investigate health and care preferences that offer the potential for improving well-being in later life for Native Hawaiian elders. As background, we provide three explanatory perspectives and theories-life course perspective, minority stress theory, and historical trauma-that guided the design of this study and provided the study's context. A number of overarching themes and subthemes were identified, some of which point to universal concerns with age and caregiving (such as challenges and costs associated with growing old and caregiving) and others that are culturally specific (such as influence of culture and social stressors, including discrimination, on health needs and care preferences). Results give further support to the urgency of affordable, accessible, and acceptable programs and policies that can respond to the growing health and care needs of native elders and family caregivers.

C.V. Browne
N. Mokuau
L.S. Ka'opua
B.J. Kim
P. Higuchi
K.L. Braun
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