Sunday, April 30, 2006

Notes from March Meeting

Barbara Stanton, State Director AARP: AARP is undertaking a survey to cost out home improvements that will enable people to stay home longer. The information will be useful for the legislature as well as advocacy groups. AARP supported legislation to provide a refundable tax credit for caregivers and to extend income eligibility to 150% of poverty for the Hawaii Rx assistance program. Also important are aging in place and proper placement at the proper time.

Deborah Jackson, Director of Eldercare Hawaii. Her organization ( is a resource for eldercare information, resources, support, training and providers for family caregivers and seniors. The staff assists with planning, counseling, mediation, information and referrals.

Nanette Geller, a geriatric mental health consultant is concerned about how to make long term care institutions more home-like. It is possible to have a good quality of life in spite of impairments. Having loving care providers, whether unpaid or professional is most important.

While not a panelist, Kokua Council member Florence Lau shared her experience in organizing her condo to assist the growing number of aging tenants “age in place”. Her experience taught her to
1. Get support and approval from the board of directors and the building manager.
2. Start out with a socializing activity so tenants get to know each other.
3. Find out from them what their needs are.
4. Include all ages. For example, don’t call it a senior group or caregivers’ group; call it a singles’ group or a better living group.
5. Her condo now has a buddy system on each floor.