A program that provides in-home care for Hawaii's older population is expected to come under scrutiny as lawmakers cope with an increasingly tight budget.
Kupuna Care provides home-delivered meals, transportation and help with bathing and chores for people who do not qualify for Medicaid but can't afford to pay for private in-home services. The state-funded program's base budget has been flat for more than a decade, while the number of state residents age 65 and older has increased by 15 percent. Moreover, Hawaii's 65-plus population is projected to increase by more than 67 percent between 2010 and 2030.
AARP is fighting to preserve Kupuna Care and wants members to get involved. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808-545-6004 to volunteer.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans currently 65 or older will need long-term care at some point in their lives. That fact, coupled with the median cost of nursing home care in Hawaii — nearly $115,000 a year — is driving AARP to urge state residents to plan ahead.
"People need to anticipate their long-term care needs," says Stuart Ho, AARP Hawaii state president. "Failure to do so can deplete a lifetime of savings almost as fast as a house fire in an uninsured home."
A recent report from the Hawaii Long-Term Care Commission to the legislature highlighted the need to better inform the public of the risks that age-related disability pose to financial security and to better coordinate management of government programs for long-term care.
For a copy of AARP's planning guide, go to aarp.org/decide or call 1-888-687-2277 (1-888-OUR-AARP) toll-free.