Some things are universal to the human race. The night sky is one of them, for we can all look up and feel connected to the moon and stars. Perhaps we have even placed a lost loved one there in the firmament and look to them for guidance when times are tough. In her recent memoir, Under a Full Moon and a Guiding Star, Lani Almanza shares the wisdoms she learned while caring for her youngest son Jacob, who passed away in 2005, from cancer, at age 22.
Few places can outshine Hawai‘i when it comes to healthy outdoor activities. The weather and the environment provide countless opportunities for exercise, whatever your fitness level. Canoe paddling challenges the physically fit, just as a short walk in a park or on a beach might challenge someone who has mobility issues. One sport that welcomes all fitness levels is pickleball.
The Institute for Human Services (IHS) has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a ministry distributing peanut butter sandwiches to those sleeping on the streets of Chinatown in the late 1970s. The team Connie Mitchell put together after joining IHS in 2006 can be justly proud of how the nonprofit tackles the many challenges faced by the unhoused.
A common thread runs through a tapestry of three stories in the September-October 2022 issue of GENERATIONS MAGAZINE. Having experienced the caregiving role themselves, Savina Makalena, Gary Simon and Gary Powell all saw the need to support individual caregivers and the various entities involved in providing that support. And seeing that need, they all decided to help fulfill it, each in their own way.
The compassion at the heart of Ginny Tiu’s advocacy for those who have no voice is a great source of joy in her life. Her God-given talent as a piano prodigy at age 5 gave her the opportunity to travel the world, where she witnessed heartbreaking poverty and harsh inequities, calling her caring nature to action during a lifetime of humanitarian and animal welfare efforts.
Family plays a key role in the well-being of a loved one diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. While such a diagnosis might seem overwhelming, it is the small things we do daily that determine how the condition will progress. Family members can help and encourage their loved one by becoming part of their healthcare team.
The day I visit the Molokai Arts Center, Betty West is teaching a kūpuna ceramics class. Betty was one of the founders of the center, which grew from an idea discussed at the local pizza café by locals — mostly seniors — who felt the island needed a place to nurture the arts. Between 2010 and 2012, the group incorporated as a nonprofit, raised funds and applied for grants, and were offered a home on the property of Coffees of Hawaii in Kualapu‘u.
Volunteering is a popular antidote to feelings of isolation that can occur as we age. Here are two programs that enable seniors to share their time and skills with younger generations.
If you attend any sports events involving the University of Hawai‘i’s Rainbow Warriors or Wahine, it soon becomes obvious that local kūpuna are among their most avid supporters. From attending home games, to donating to booster clubs, to picking thousands of flowers to make lei for the Women’s Volleyball Team, Hawai‘i’s seniors are with the athletes every step of the way.
The Big Island again finds itself dealing with a large number of people displaced by a lava event. “The fast-moving lava flow from Kīlauea volcano on May 3, 2018, forced 1,500 residents out of their homes and in search of shelter,” says Kimo Alameda, County Executive on Aging.
The measures that came into effect in wartime Hawai‘i were described by one man who helped create them, Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Green, as “a new experiment in government — a joint operation of the military, civilian business and the general public.” A great number of the general public were, of course, women and they played many roles on the home front.