Kupuna Caregiver Financial Support

14 02 2018

The Department of Community Services’ Elderly Affairs Division announced that it has launched the Kupuna Caregiver Pilot Program to help support working persons who also provide care to elders.

To be eligible caregivers must be employed at least 30 hours a week and provide care to a frail elder 60 years of age or older. The program benefit is limited to $70 worth of services per day and continues through June 30, 2018. The amount allocated to the City and County of Honolulu by the State of Hawaii is estimated to benefit 38 caregivers and priority will be given to applicants with the greatest caregiver burden and the most economic and social need.

With this pilot funding the city has chosen to provide Adult Day Care services. This service provides relief to a working caregiver by providing all-day supervision to a senior in a safe and comfortable environment. The $70 per day benefit would cover all or most of the cost of this service, which includes meals, on-site activities for physical strengthening, mental stimulation, socialization and recreation. For the caregiver it provides peace of mind, the freedom to continue working and a way to reduce anxiety and stress. Some of the city’s contracted day care providers are also able to assist with personal care, toileting, and/or incontinence.

Assisting 38 caregivers with this pilot program demonstrates the practical impact of government support to the many thousands of family caregivers on Oahu who are currently working. The data collected during this pilot program will provide valuable information on Oahu’s working caregiver population, including the level of need, effects on the workforce, and how support for caregivers should be targeted in the future. In response to the state of Hawaii’s announcement of the program’s launch, the Elderly Affairs Division has already received over one thousand calls from interested caregivers. Many have already been assessed for eligibility and the first participant is expected to start the program this week.

Legislation to continue and expand the program is currently being considered by the Hawaii State Legislature, and working caregivers are encouraged to contact their senators and representatives for more information or to voice their continued support.

Additional information on the program is available on the Elderly Affairs Division’s website at www.elderlyaffairs.com or by calling the Senior Helpline at 768-7700.