More than 40 million family caregivers nationwide provide unpaid care to a parent, spouse, or loved one in need.
Some of Hawaii's working caregivers can now get some financial support.
Hawaii's population is aging more rapidly than the national average, and Hawaii's kupuna live longer than seniors in any other state. Many of their needs are being met by family caregivers.
"We have 154,000 caregivers in the state of Hawaii, and the majority of them are women over the age of 50 and they're in the workforce, and you'll find that half of them will leave because it's just too hard to try and juggle work and caregiving responsibilities," said Barbara Kim Stanton, AARP Hawaii director.
The Hawaii Executive Office on Aging recently launched the Kupuna Caregivers Program to help Hawaii's working caregivers who pay for services to support kupuna.
It's a first of its kind initiative that recognizes the contributions and sacrifices of Hawaii's working caregivers.
"It is so stressful for many that many of them leave the workforce," Stanton said. "Probably about $304,000 that you lose on average in wages and benefits."
Qualified caregivers may receive up to $70 per day to cover the cost of adult day care, chore services, home-delivered meals, homemaker services, personal care, respite, or transportation.
"The money does not go to the caregiver. It goes to service provider," Stanton said.
Caregivers must work at least 30 hours a week and the care recipient cannot live in a long-term care facility.
But you must act quickly. Program funding is limited to $600,000 until June 30.
"If it wasn't for our 154,000 caregivers, our seniors would have a much less happy experience, even in a place as great as Hawaii," Stanton said.
For more information or to apply, call the ADRC statewide phone number (808) 643-2372, ADRC TTY line (808) 643-0899, or go to http://www.hawaiiadrc.org.