DANA (pronounced Donna) is a Sanskrit word that is defined as selfless giving of time and energy; providing compassion and care without the desire for recognition or expression of appreciation. Dana is not someone’s name, or an acronym. Dana is an expression of love, compassion, faith, and caring.
The Hawai‘i Family Caregiver Coalition was formed to develop new partnerships at local and state levels to advance a coordinated approach to address the needs of Hawai‘i’s family caregivers. As caregiving touches everyone, the mission of the Hawai‘i Family Caregiver Coalition (HFCC) is to improve the quality of life of those who give and receive care by increasing community awareness of caregiver issues through continuing advocacy, education and training.
Adding some sparkle to your social life can be a challenge at any age, especially in life’s later decades. For many, adult day care is a low-stress foray into an activity-filled social life. Adult day care centers are key providers of long-term care services. They provide activities, health monitoring, socialization and assistance with daily activities.
When Hiroko hired a healthcare agency to assist her in caring for her husband, she trusted that the company would provide her with caregivers who were responsible and professional. Unfortunately, this agency sent a “caregiver” who helped herself to Hiroko’s jewelry. This is only one of many cases of caregiver abuse handled by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, but it highlights the need for people to become aware of the risks involved when hiring a stranger as a caregiver.
There are many reasons why working with seniors became my passion. One was to prepare myself to care for my loved ones as they age. We will all eventually encounter the challenges of caregiving. What better way to prepare than by choosing gerontology as a career?
Many professional caregivers have deeply rooted memories that inspired them to pursue a career in a field — such as assisted living. My first experience with dementia, caregiving and compassion involved my own grandparents, my Lolo and Lola.
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.
When it’s a family caregiver’s sole responsibility to manage the care of a loved one, there will come a time when stress will get to a level where the caregiver becomes unable to perform self-care or continue to provide for their loved one. Getting others involved to help the caregiver will bring much-needed relief.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in some way. But our most vulnerable population, our senior citizens — especially those with dementia — are being particularly challenged. Our normal routines have been altered during the pandemic. This can be devastating for dementia patients, who thrive on the consistency of a regular routine.
Last week, Mrs. Matthews—Linda Coble— had back surgery. The doctor was pleased with the results and four days later, she came home from the hospital. The doctor said to me, “This will be tougher on you than it is on her.” In some ways, he was right. I watch her like a hawk so she won’t do anything she’s not supposed to do during recovery. I bring home the groceries, vacuum, do the dishes, laundry. But in another way, the doctor was wrong. It has been a meaningful experience.
It is 6:55 on Monday morning and a small group is gathering outside Lē‘ahi Hospital. Several women with walkers and wheelchairs wait with their sons or daughters for the Lē‘ahi Adult Day Health Center doors to open.
For generations grandparents in Hawai‘i have helped raise their grandchildren while the parents worked the farms or harvested the crops. While things changed in modern Hawai‘i, the tradition continued as busy parents headed off to work, grandparents often took the grandchildren to school or after school activities. And, by the late ’90s, many grandparents found themselves caring for their grandchildren on a full time, 24/7 basis.
Given the rapidly growing senior populace, Catholic Charities Hawai‘i remains dedicated to creating and providing services that keep seniors engaged and independent. Services include case management, transportation, chore and housekeeping, affordable housing, respite for caregivers, socialization and volunteer opportunities.
Seniors who experience a fall or stroke, or undergo surgery may be surprised they can be discharged from the hospital fairly quickly. That’s good and bad news. Seniors may be happy to leave the hospital but may then be disappointed to learn they cannot return home.
There are many types of dementia; Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent. Dementia is ultimately brain failure. As the brain changes, a person’s skills and abilities regress. The following are four changes you can expect as dementia progresses…
Family caregivers give love and should receive love, too. A greeting card that acknowledges family caregivers for their important role, recognizes their devotion, honors their work, expresses gratitude and celebrates caregiving can go a long way to shine a bright light on a deserving longtime or new caregiver.
With National Caregivers Month quickly approaching, let’s remember former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who said it best in 2012—“There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.” As a caregiver, what questions should I ask to help me assess the best Medicare Advantage (health plan) possible?
Almost one-third of the adult U.S. population is currently caregivers for an ill or disabled relative. The majority are female and 60 percent are employed part- or full-time. Caregivers need to take time to care of themselves so they stay well enough to care for others. Realize that your own health and well-being could suffer if you don’t take care to be well before tending to others needs.
There is no perfect time to discuss end-of-life care. Most seniors would prefer to age in place at home, as independently as possible. But too few take the time to discuss their preferences with their family, leaving family caregivers
stressed and scrambling. The most important thing any family can do to prepare for a loved one to live at home is to talk about it today.
According to Kathryn Coleman, Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a final rule issued in April 2018 has redefined the “primarily health related” supplement benefit definition. As a result, CMS expects Medicare Advantage plan sponsors to begin offering services for enrollees needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
When a senior member of your family is in need of 24/7 care, it is fortunate that Hawai‘i has many professional, caring and dedicated homes and facilities to welcome them. What every family wants to know is: “Will my mom or dad be happy living in someone else’s home, eat right, and stay mentally and physically strong?”
In 2017, Hawai‘i legislators and Gov. David Ige created the Kupuna Caregivers Program. This program helps family caregivers who work at least 30 hours per week outside the home by providing a $70-per-day benefit in services that could help make home caregiving for aging family members more affordable.