Hawaii Kupuna Caregivers Program – Unique in the Country

Please note (4/2022): this was posted in December 2017. The program has not been funded in the last two years and has essentially been discontinued.
Working caregivers who pay for services to support their kupuna may now be eligible for financial help of up to $70 per day to cover the cost of adult day care, chore services, home-delivered meals, homemaker services, personal care, respite, or transportation. The Hawaii Executive Office on Aging (EOA) is launching the state’s Kupuna Caregivers Program which was signed into law earlier this year [2017] by Gov. David Ige to help Hawaii’s working caregivers.
“The landmark initiative is a first step in recognizing the significant contributions and sacrifices of Hawaii’s working caregivers as they celebrate and honor their kupuna,” said Gov. David Ige. “Support for our caregivers is critically needed as Hawaii’s population is aging more rapidly than the national average and our seniors live longer than seniors in any other state.”This has made national news, including the New York Times, with a video!! 

Easing the Burden on Caregivers-  The New York Times – 12.15.17

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?” A new program in Hawaii, the Kupuna Caregivers Act, is designed to help lift some of the burden on people caring for an elderly family member at home by paying them stipends of up to $70 a day. The word Kupuna means elder in Hawaiian.