Supporting family caregivers in West Hawaii since 1996
It takes a whole community to care for our caregivers.
Here’s a short summary of possible financial help for caregivers on Hawaii Island. This information was developed in personal conversations with the provider agencies. Thanks, HCCN board member Kathy Weidner, for your research!
Please remember that funding is scarce, and agencies are overworked. There’s also a shortage of available caregivers in West Hawaii. It’s a good idea to be persistent in asking for help.
HCCN Caregiver Conference --
board member Joann D'Addio
discusses memory loss.
Kupuna Care Program
Kupuna Care was enacted in the past few years by the Hawaii State Legislature, to help working caregivers stay in their jobs. The program may provide about $70/day to pay someone else to care for your loved one. The payments will only extend for 6-8 months, while you are presumably making other arrangements.
You must work outside the home for at least 30 hours a week, cannot be self-employed, and must hire your caregiver through a licensed agency (not a family member or neighbor, though some licensed agencies do create arrangements with family members to make this program work). You’ll be asked for a letter from your doctor and your employer to support your application. Call the Hawaii County Office of Aging, 808-323-4290 in Kona, or search online for your local Office of Aging.
HCCN Caregiver Conference --
board member Karen Klemme shares
tips about in-home care.
Community Living Program (CLP)
This program is not time-limited like the one described above, but it does have financial limits. You may receive up to $800/month to pay someone to care for your loved one; this caregiver can be a family member, but not the person who pays the bills.
The patient must need help with at least three activities of daily living, and be diagnosed with dementia; he or she cannot have an income of under $1223 per month or over $3670 per month (as of 2020).
You can get a lot of good information on their website, https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/hawaii/community-living. Sign up through Hawaii County Office of Aging at 808-323-4290, or search online for your local Office of Aging.
Medicaid is for folks with very low income -- $1,235 per month for one person, or $2,540/month for a family of four. There are also limits on your assets, although you can usually keep your home as long as you and/or your spouse live there. For an elderly couple, there are a few possible situations where they may get in-home help for an ill spouse.
In Hawaii, Medicaid is called MedQuest. To connect with this agency (which is part of the Hawaii Department of Human Services), call 327-4970 for West Hawaii; search online for “How to contact Med-Quest;” or call the statewide Customer Service number at 1-800-316-8005.
The VA has various programs for in-home help for the elderly, but they do not pay you to care for
your spouse. There is a new Respite Relief Program going nationwide in 2021 for grants to family caregivers caring for a vet at home. For any VA info, call the Kona Vet Center, 808-329-0574, or
search online for your local VA Center
Fraud -- Don't Be a Victim
It’s so important to protect yourself as a matter of habit. Here are some suggestions from AARP:
1. Let calls from strangers go to voicemail.
2. Simply delete suspicious pop-ups or phone messages.
3. Do not allow anyone remote access to your home computer.
4. Take the pledge: “I will never, ever, ever buy a gift card for someone I don't know.” Gift cards should only be purchased for family and friends.
For more info on this important topic, see https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2020/tips-to-protect-yourself-from-fraud.html