Page Reviewed / Updated - April 24, 2015
The Kupuna Caregivers Program is a pilot program launched in 2018 that is intended for employed Hawaiian residents who are also unpaid primary caregivers of a senior relative. This program helps to ease the financial burden of providing care for a loved one, while allowing the caregiver to continue their employment outside of the home. The Kupuna Caregivers Program also helps to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of seniors, saving the state money, as the cost of institutionalization is much greater than is support in the home and community. Via this program, up to $70 / day may go towards the cost of long-term senior care and services, such as adult day care, in-home personal assistance, respite care, and more.
This program is also called the Kupuna Caregiver Law. It is administered by the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging (EOA) and is implemented through local Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ARDCs).
For the Kupuna Caregivers Program, there currently are no income or asset limits. However, there are other eligibility requirements for both the primary caregiver and the care recipient.
The caregiver must provide care for an elderly individual who are U.S. citizens or qualified aliens and be at least 60 years of age, and work a minimum of 30 hours per week outside the home. (The caregiver may not be self-employed). The caregiver does not have to live with the care recipient.
Care Recipients must be Hawaii residents who are at least 60 years old. They must not reside in a long-term care facility, such as an assisted living facility, an adult residential care home, a community care foster family home, or a skilled nursing facility. They must also require assistance with a minimum of two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as eating, bathing, and transferring from a bed to a chair, OR two Independent Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as housecleaning, preparing meals, and doing laundry, OR one ADL and one IADL OR have a considerable cognitive impairment that requires significant supervision. In addition, they must not be eligible for any other programs that provide home and community based services.
Eligible applicants are able to receive up to $70 / day to help cover the cost of senior care and services. These funds may be used for adult day care / adult day health, transportation assistance (including to and from adult day care / adult day health), home health care, respite care, home delivered meals, chore / homemaker services, and personal care assistance, such bathing, grooming, dressing / undressing, mobility, etc.
Funds are not paid to the caregiver; rather they are paid directly to the service providers.
The Kapuna Caregivers Program is not an entitlement program, which means meeting the eligibility requirements does not ensure services will be received. This means that there may be a waitlist for program participation.