Kupuna Caregivers Program a Shining Example

Kupuna Caregivers Program a Shining Example

While political discourse tends to be in the news on a daily basis on the national stage, we can often take for granted that, even in difficult legislative sessions, our local elected officials are able to work together to prioritize shared community needs.

Easing the Burden on Caregivers

Easing the Burden on Caregivers

Eleanor Thommes and her sister have reorganized their schedules and finances to take care of their 93-year-old mother, Elising Roxas, who needs round-the-clock care.

“A lot of women, especially single women, need to work,” said Ms. Thommes, 63, who lives in Mililani, Hawaii. “But at the same time they have all these responsibilities, to pay the bills, and to caregive. How can they possibly do all of that the same time?”

Elder Care Is a Looming Crisis. Hawaii Is Facing It Head-On.

Elder Care Is a Looming Crisis. Hawaii Is Facing It Head-On.

In Hawaii, senior citizens are kupuna. The Hawaiian word, used in roughly the same way as elder or grandparent, denotes reverence for experience and wisdom. Throughout history, Hawaiian culture has placed a high value on children and grandchildren caring for their kupuna, helping them age with dignity in their own homes and communities.

Hawaii sets the example in building a care infrastructure

Hawaii sets the example in building a care infrastructure

Every state should emulate Hawaii, not only in its opposition to exclusion and division, but also in envisioning the future.

In advocating for caregivers and our elders, I’m usually met with tremendous resistance. Even though the data tells us that we are an aging nation with ever-increasing caregiving needs, it is difficult to get traction with lawmakers. Not in Hawaii. In Hawaii, families prioritize caring for kupuna. There is broad agreement that caring is an important part of family life, and should be supported by public policy.

Caregivers could use a helping hand with their heavy burden

Caregivers could use a helping hand with their heavy burden

I can only imagine the relief, and gratitude, I would have felt had a resource like the Hawaii Kupuna Caregivers program been available back in my caregiving days. Legislators now have the chance to make the resource a reality for those who have succeeded me. And who knows when I will assume the role of caregivee instead of caregiver?

Kupuna, caregivers need help

Kupuna, caregivers need help

It is good news that the kupuna caregivers assistance bill — Senate Bill 534/House Bill 607 — has made it through the budget committees of the state Senate and House.

This session, policymakers will have the opportunity to do something important for Hawaii’s seniors, the families who care for them and the burgeoning costs our state must assume for the long-term care needs of the aging baby boomer population advancing to retirement.

Caregivers need help as Hawaii’s population ages

Caregivers need help as Hawaii’s population ages

Well, Hawaii, we’re not getting any younger.

According to state data, by 2020, most of the baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — will have celebrated their 60th birthday. By then, it’s projected that about one-quarter of the state’s population will be age 60 or older. Demographers say that as a state, we’re aging more rapidly and living longer than any other state.

Isle caregivers relate financial, health pain in calling on state for aid

Isle caregivers relate financial, health pain in calling on state for aid

Having some financial aid would have allowed him to get some respite before having to turn to a care home, and that’s why Mitchell is urging state lawmakers to pass the proposed kupuna caregivers assistance bill.

Mitchell was among several people sharing heart-rending testimonies at the rally in support of companion bills in the House and Senate (SB 534/HB 607). The gathering was organized by Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), AARP and other groups in partnership with the national nonprofit Caring Across Generations.

Help Needed for Caregiving Heroes

I was honored to be present on the Senate floor as a guest of Sen. Michelle Kidani during the opening day ceremonies at the state Legislature this year and watch her election as vice president. It was also heartening to read in the program for the day the Senate’s affirmation of its commitment to Ola Lehulehu –People and Communities.

Caregivers need the help of legislators

I watch my parents with a deep sadness as the sun sets on their long and useful lives. My mother, 85, once a nurse, has just joined my father, 95, once a doctor, on the terrible journey with Alzheimer’s. I used to be a partner in my father’s OB/GYN practice. Now I am a partner in helping my parents manage the pain of their decline. I feel lucky that as a doctor, I can make a significant contribution to overseeing their care.

I Worked To Build Compassion — In Retirement, I Could Use Some

After a lifetime working for a stronger, more compassionate community, I’ve just retired.

The issues I have championed have never been directly self-serving. But now, I am part of a huge and growing group of senior citizens. Our needs are different, often urgent, generally expensive and not easily met.

Caring For A Loved One At Home: A Five Year Diary

Caring For A Loved One At Home: A Five Year Diary

Our story of caring for a loved one at home is not unique. My mother-in-law, Florence Yasuda, was living on her own, doing her own cooking, cleaning, laundry and yardwork and she walked or took the bus to do her shopping. But in September 2011 Florence, then 93, fell while sweeping her driveway, breaking her upper arm.