Hawai'i Kupuna Care (KC) for the Elderly

Page Reviewed / Updated - Mar. 2019

Program Description

Kupuna Care (KC) is a state program designed to help non-Medicaid eligible, elderly residents so that they can continue living at home or in the community instead of in Medicaid paid-for, nursing home residential care. Kupuna Care assists families by providing a variety of different long-term caregiving and support services, such as adult day care, personal care, and transportation assistance. The program is available throughout the islands.

The Kupuna Care Program should not be confused with the rather new Kupuna Caregivers Program. This newer program helps employed individuals who are also caring for a loved one by providing support services that allows their loved one to remain at home while helping them to remain employed. 

Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible for Kupuna Care, one must be a U.S. citizen or legal alien, Hawaii resident, and 60+ years of age. The applicant cannot reside in a skilled nursing facility, assisted living residence, foster care home, or other adult residential care facility. He or she must have a functional impairment that prevents them from performing at least 2 activities of daily living (ADL) OR 2 instrumental ADLs OR one ADL and 1 IADL OR they must have significant cognitive impairments that jeopardize their safety or the safety of another person.

Please note that in order to be the recipient of home delivered meals the functional requirements are slightly different. First, the individual must have functional impairments of at least 2 ADLS OR have a significant cognitive limitation. In addition, the applicant must be unable to leave the home.  

There are no published financial eligibility requirements. However, to be eligible, a senior cannot be receiving services via a comparable government, private home, or community based care services program, such as those provided under Hawai'i Medicaid MedQUEST program. In brief, this means, as of 2019, an individual's monthly income must be greater than $1,198 (otherwise they would be qualified to receive similar services under MedQUEST).  More details about Hawaii Medicaid eligibility are available here. Individuals with higher incomes are expected to pay for a larger share of the costs of the services.

Benefits and Services

Kupuna Care provides a variety of different services. The services that an individual receives are determined on a case-by-case basis and may include any of the following:

  • Adult Day Care
  • Case Management
  • Chore Services
  • Attendant Care
  • Homemaker Services (assistance with meal preparation, grocery shopping, and laundry)
  • Hot or Prepared Meal Delivery Services / Congregate Meals
  • Nutrition Education
  • Personal Care (assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and grooming)
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Legal Assistance 
  • Respite
  • Caregiving Counseling
  • Companionship Visits
  • Home Modifications – addition of grab bars, ramps, etc. 
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
  • Recreational Activities

How to Apply / Learn More

The KC program is managed by each island's county aging office. One can apply with their county Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).  Contact information for each county ADRC can be found here.

Priority for services is given to those that have the greatest financial need, are at risk of nursing home placement, or live in rural areas.

Did You Know?  Of all 50 states, Hawaii has the longest average life expectancy. In fact, Hawai’i residents can expect to live almost two years longer than the average American.