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Protecting Kupuna Care a Top Priority in 2012 Session

Defending home and community based services and programs that support family caregivers are among the top priorities heading into the 2012 Hawaii legislative session in January. Services that enable island residents to stay in their homes as they get older are often among the first to get cut in tough times.

See Also: Survey Points to Increased Reliance on Family Caregivers

Funding for Kupuna Care, for example, is expected to come under renewed scrutiny as the state tries to meet the demand for services amid persistent state budget challenges. Kupuna Care is a state funded program that provides long-term care support services to the elderly in their homes – including assistance with bathing, grooming, transportation, and home-delivered meals.

The latest survey of AARP members in Hawaii shows that 94 percent of older residents age 50+ believe it is important to have long-term care services that allow them to remain at home as they get older. Nearly eight in 10 older residents (78 percent) believe the state should provide funding and support for caregivers so they can continue to help friends and relatives stay in their homes and communities as they age. Sixty-two percent of island residents say the costs of long-term care should be shared between individuals and the state.

AARP Hawaii is asking members to get involved in efforts to support its advocacy agenda during the upcoming legislative session in January 2012. Volunteers can help with visits, phone calls, letters, and emails to legislators. Training and orientation will be conducted in January 2012. To register for the advocacy training via email to hi@aarp.org, or call the Hawaii state office at 808-545-6004.

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