AARP Hawaii is pleased to present three events for family caregivers and residents preparing to care for their aging loved ones. The events will be held in Kona (3/26), Kahului (3/27) and Honolulu (3/28) and are intended to familiarize residents with community resources and supports needed to care for older friends and family members – and plan for their own future needs as well.
“Family caregiving is an issue that affects all of us in some way,” said AARP Hawaii State Director Barbara Kim Stanton. “Whether you’re caring for an older family member now, preparing to help in the future, or thinking about your own care needs, many residents are looking for answers. There is a critical need in Hawaii for information and support for caregivers and their loved ones.”
The events will feature a keynote presentation by retired U.S. Army Gen. Tony Taguba, who was born in the Philippines, raised in Wahiawa and graduated from Leilehua High School. Now a resident of Virginia, Taguba is returning to Hawaii with an important message for residents and their families: don’t wait for a crisis to start planning to care for your aging parents.
Taguba borrows from the experience that he and his siblings – who lived in different states – had in caring for their own parents. He inspires people to begin asking the critical – and often difficult – questions that every family has to face at some point, and offers practical advice for those who have no idea what to do, or where to turn, when the time comes. His poignant reflections are captured in the video, Caregiving Dahil Mahal Kita (Because I Love You), produced by AARP.
The sessions will also include an update on the latest efforts by AARP Hawaii to gain legislative support for caregivers and their families. Caregivers are the backbone of Hawaii’s eldercare system, and AARP is fighting for greater public support and recognition for the state’s 247,000 caregivers, who help kūpuna live independently at home.
To assist in this effort, AARP has launched a new initiative, called I Heart Caregivers, to recognize the silent army of Hawaii residents who performs a great labor of love every day. The public is asked to help support family caregivers by sharing the stories of caregivers they know at this website.
Preparing to care for aging parents is a singular and often consuming challenge facing baby boomers and their families. In a recent survey of Hawaii registered voters age 45+, more than half (53 percent) said they are currently providing or have provided unpaid care to an adult loved one. More than three in five respondents (63 percent) said it is likely that they will provide unpaid care to an adult loved one in the future.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with nearly 150,000 members in Hawaii. AARP helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse.