Hawaiian Seniors live long with good food, song and dance

Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna Program (KOPP), meaning “good health and living for elders” is one of many projects operating within ALU LIKE Inc., a state-wide non-profit agency that helps Native Hawaiians achieve their potential for themselves, families and communities. KOPP enriches the lives of Native Hawaiian elders by preserving and restoring their health, sense of dignity and self-respect, while promoting cultural education and lifelong learning.

Alu Like Kupuna Program - Generations Magazine - June - July 2012KOPP provides nutrition and supportive services to independent Native Hawaiians 60 years of age or older on the islands of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu.

KOPP offers Native Hawaiian seniors with several critical services. Daily nutritious congregate meals are available at project sites, whereas home delivered meals are provided to qualified individuals who are unable to attend site activities. To ensure that seniors have access to healthy meals, the program offers limited transportation services to/from the project sites and for shopping and health-related needs during regular program hours. In addition, outreach and referral services link participants to extra services such as recreation, education, health monitoring and nutrition counseling.

KOPP has also been very involved with the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) through collaborations with the state Executive Office on Aging and the four county offices on aging. This evidence-based program, developed at Stanford University, has proven to be helpful for kupuna who are trying to manage one or more chronic condition.

Hawaiian cultural activities are an important part of the program. Participants may say they do not want to exercise, but they have no problem performing hula or playing their ‘ukulele or guitar for up to two hours. Kupuna love to entertain at senior fairs and other community events, however, the main focus is having a good time with each other. Kupuna are welcome to participate in mele (music) activities if they are experienced, or learning it for the first time.

Kupuna also engage in additional Hawaiian cultural activities including, ‘olelo (Hawaiian language), history, arts and crafts. Intergenerational cultural projects give ku¯puna a chance to give back to their community. Both kupuna and keiki benefit by creating a much-needed bridge between the generations and allow kupuna to return to their traditional role as cultural teachers.

For more information, please contact the Kupuna Program. Below are meeting times for every week of the month, except where noted.

O‘ahu: (808) 535-6700

  • Nanakuli: Mon. & Fri. 9:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
  • Papakolea: Tues. 9:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
  • Waimanalo: Wed. & Thur. 9:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.

Hawai‘i: (808) 961-2625

  • Kona: Mon. (once a month) 10 a.m.– 12 p.m.
  • Hilo: Tue., Thur. & Fri., 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.
  • Pahoa: Wed. 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.

Maui: (808) 242-9774

  • Paukukalo: Mon. thru Thur. 9 a.m.– 12 p.m.

Kaua‘i: (808) 245-8545

  • Anahola: Wed. 9:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.
  • Waimea: Thur. & Fri.9:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.

Moloka‘i: (808) 560-5393

  • Kaunakakai: Mon. & Thur. 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.
  • Ho‘olehua: Wed. 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.