Elderly Maori living on their own are five times more likely than people of other ethnicity to be at risk of accidental injury in the home, according to a recent study of older people in Hawke's Bay.
Commissioned by the regional District Health Board in April last year, the report shows 57% of the region's elderly on their own are at risk of of having accidents at home - which could lead to them needing hospital treatment.
Maori aged over 65 years are five times more likely to be in the at-risk group.
Some health service providers wrongly assume that older Maori are being taken care of by their whanau, when this is increasingly not the case, the report says.
It says the number of elderly Maori in the region will also more than double by 2026.
Ways in which the health board may change its health services include increasing care available to those older people living at home.