The Elderhood Project airs Thursday at 5:30am and at 5:00pm
There is an old Beatles song that includes the lyrics…”Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64.” The obvious answer is -“I want to, but how do I do that?” Not the need me part, the feed me part. By feed, I don’t just mean nutritionally. I mean emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.
Fortunately, there is an organization that can help answer those questions.
Several weeks ago, I spent some time with the folks at the Kupuna Education Center at Kapiolani Community College. Tony Hathaway helps run the program and counts in large part on Eme Kim. Kim specializes in senior counseling, and she has gathered a staff of specialists to conduct classes once every month or so. The class is designated for operators and workers at adult care homes and adult foster homes, but all are welcome. She often has a class of a hundred or more.
The large group breaks into smaller groups, and they all address different issues that face adult day care operators. One group may talk about depression, another about guilt or denial or nutrition. For each topic, she chooses a specialist from her cadre to help direct the group discussions. At the end of the session, a representative from the group is selected to make a presentation to the entire class on the group’s findings. Kim says it’s amazing the concepts they come up with when many minds work toward the same goal.
The Kupuna Education Center’s role in the community will become more important as our community ages. There are more than 1200 adult care homes on Oahu alone, and that number will grow - has to grow - in the coming years.
One other thing I learned - the people involved in the Kupuna Education Center are dedicated, compassionate individuals with a single goal in mind - to provide the best care available using the best practices. And the research continues. That’s good news for all of us, because as another Beatles lyric goes from that classic tune…”You’ll be older, too.” Contact