Hawaii’s Kupuna Caregivers Program: Helping Working Families to Care for their Loved Ones  

Program Description

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).

 

Eligibility Guidelines

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.

Primary Caregivers
The caregiver must provide care for an elderly individual who is 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
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.

 

Benefits and 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 to adult day care / adult day health, 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.

 

How to Apply / Learn More

For additional information about the Kupuna Caregivers Program, click here. Contact your local Aging and Disability Resource Center to apply or call the statewide ADRC at 808-643-2372.