Supporting family caregivers in West Hawaii since 1996
It takes a whole community to care for our caregivers.
Financial Help for Caregiving Families
HCCN Caregiver Conference --board member Joann D'Addiodiscusses memory loss. HCCN Caregiver Conference --board member Karen Klemme sharestips about in-home care.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 politely persistent in asking for help.
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 which went nationwide in 2021 for grants to families 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.
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 808-327-4970 for West Hawaii; search online for “How to contact Med-Quest;” or call the statewide Customer Service number at 1-800-316-8005.
Community Living Program (CLP)
Through this program 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
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.
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.
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