Hawai’i One Step Closer to Easing Burden on Caregiving Families

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(HONOLULU, HI) – Caregiving families are optimistic about the Kupuna Caregiver Assistance Act, which cleared a major legislative hurdle when HB 607 passed the Senate yesterday by a 25-0 vote. The Act will help community members remain in the workforce while they care for their kupuna by providing a voucher of up to $70 a day to secure eldercare support services, such as adult day care, home health aides, or transportation.

Dr. Clementina Ceria-Ulep, Co-Chair for the Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) Long-Term Care Task Force of Oahu, said, “I have been working on long-term care issues for more than a decade and this is the most significant breakthrough I’ve seen in that time. These caregivers are the backbone of our care system and desperately need our support, and the Kupuna Caregiver Assistance Act provides that for them.”

Family caregivers are not the only ones excited to see this groundbreaking legislation gaining traction. A significant number of local, state, and national organizations including AARP Hawai’i, the Hawai’i Family Caregiver Coalition, the Hawai’i Public Health Association, and the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter are enthusiastically backing the Kupuna Caregivers program because of the relief and respite it will offer family caregivers and the positive impact it could have on the economy.

“This innovative legislation to help family caregivers remain in the workforce while they care for older family members is a great step in the right direction,” said Kevin Simowitz, Political Director for Caring Across Generations. “No one should be forced to choose between earning a living to provide for their family or leaving a job to care for them.”

For more information on the Kupuna Caregiver Assistance Act and Hawai’i’s development of a long term plan for long term care, please visit care4kupuna.com.