Hawaii passes a law to ease responsibility of Elder Care

NBC News
by Agnes Constante

Hawaii last week passed legislation that will provide working family caregivers with financial assistance to help pay for costs associated with caring for their elders.

The Kupuna Caregivers Act, signed Thursday by Hawaii Gov. David Ige, is the first of its kind in the nation, Janet Kim, communications director for Caring Across Generations (CAG), a home care policy advocacy group, told NBC News. It provides qualified caregivers with a voucher of up to $70 per day that can be used toward services that they would otherwise perform themselves, including adult day care and assisted transportation.

Support for elderly care is usually granted directly to care recipients, Kim said. However, the Kupuna Caregivers Act grants assistance to working family caregivers, who can be caring for family members who are above the Medicaid eligibility threshold. While the amount provided does not cover the entire cost of care families need, it does allow them to provide more hours of in-home care and other services, Kevin Simowitz, political director of CAG, said during a telephone briefing about the new legislation on Monday.

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