Helping working caregivers pay for support services for older adults
Working caregivers who pay for services to support their kupuna may now be eligible for financial help up to $70 per day to cover the costs 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 by Governor 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 Governor 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.”
Under Act 102, qualified caregivers who apply for the program may receive up to $70 per day in services (subject to the availability of funds and paid directly to contracted service providers, not the caregiver). To be eligible, caregivers must be employed at least 30 hours per week by one or more employer(s); and they must provide direct care to a care recipient who is a citizen of the U.S. or a qualified alien, 60 years of age or older, and not covered by any comparable government or private home and community-based care service, except Kupuna Care services. The care recipient cannot reside in a long-term care facility and must have impairments of at least two activities of daily living, or two instrumental activities of daily living, or one activity of daily living and one instrumental activity of daily living, or substantive cognitive impairment requiring substantial supervision.
“We are hopeful that this program will provide working caregivers with the opportunity to continue working, and with peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are safe and are receiving services and supports that maximize their independence and quality of life,” said Terri Byers, director of the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging. “EOA is looking forward to analyzing the data we collect during this first six-month pilot period to evaluate demand for services, provider capacity, and how effective the program is in helping caregivers retain employment and ease financial burden.”
Interested caregivers should contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) as soon as possible to apply for the program. Program funding is limited to a total of $600,000 available until June 30, 2018, unless a subsequent appropriation is made by the Hawaii State Legislature. Applying for the program includes employment verification, assessment of the care recipient, and a caregiver burden assessment. For further information or to apply, call the ADRC statewide phone number at (808) 643-2372, ADRC TTY line at (808) 643-0899, or visit http://www.hawaiiadrc.org.