“As a Māori researcher with the School of Nursing, it was my privilege to share my caregiving story. This provided me the unique experience of being both the researched and researcher and it was an honour to be involved.
As a proud Māori wahine (female), mother of two teenage girls, partner to a Pakeha tane (male) who possesses “he ngākau Maori” (a Maori heart), teina/tuahine (younger sister to six older half-siblings) and as the mātāmua (eldest child) to my mother Teiria Heemi and father Henare Black. My caregiving role/s have been shaped, defined and then refined by these relationships, I thank my whānau for their abundant aroha (love).”
How does one really know?
I wanted Dad to maintain his mana, but … nightly shifts, lifting him up, taking him to the toilet every half an hour. He was cold, then he was hot. He couldn’t sleep. Everything was a hoha.
“Before embarking on developing my digital caregiving story, I was very clear that I only wanted to include “my” story because I was aware other whānau members had their stories and that these rightly belonged to them to share.
Although I cared for both my parents until their passing, I choose to share the story about my dad because the level of care he needed towards the end, despite being challenging, was a privilege. My sister was right, I didn’t want to have any regrets. I hope this story helps other whānau reflect, plan and make the most of the time they have with their ill and dying whānau members.”