About Kupuna Life
It’s been called a Silver Tsunami: a growing number of elderly in the nation’s population. Here in Hawaii, the latest state figures show by 2020, more than 25 percent of Hawai‘i’s population will be 60 years of age or older. Currently, an estimated 21 percent of Hawai‘i’s adult population cares for someone 60 years or older.
It’s likely this Silver Tsunami touches your life, whether it’s you, your parent, your grandparent, or another loved one in your life. How do you manage this? How can you navigate the overwhelming number of choices and decisions that need to be made?
KHON2 wants to help. Since 2007, we’ve presented The Kupuna Life, focusing on caregiving and aging issues facing Hawaii’s seniors, and their families and caregivers.
The goal of Kupuna Life is to bring awareness to both the issues and resources available to Hawaii’s aging population and their caregivers. We hope this knowledge will help our kupuna move through the final phase of their lives as gracefully as possible. Together, we can take this journey.
Meet the Kupuna Life Advisory Board
Joe Moore has always been interested in current events and history. He also had a knack for public speaking and being in front of the camera, so when it came time to choose a career, broadcast journalism was a natural choice. “It seemed a more dependable way to make a living and provide for a family than either acting or writing,” he says.
After a two-year stint as an Army broadcast journalist in Vietnam, Joe started his civilian career in Hawaii in 1969 as a sportscaster and moved to the news anchor desk in 1980, where he’s kept viewers informed of historic events as they unfolded — Hurricanes Iwa and Iniki, the explosion of space shuttle Challenger and the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan to name a few.
hen he’s not in the newsroom or in the studio, Joe can be found acting on stage, writing for the theatre, watching plays and movies, and listening to music. He previously hosted a weekly Mozart program on Hawaii Public Radio.
Joe is a graduate of The Defense Information School in Indianapolis, Ind. He also attended the University of Maryland for two years and Aiea High School for three years.
Joe and his wife, Teresa, are the proud parents of teenage son, Bryce.
Kathy Muneno has been an anchor at KHON2 since 2007, with a total of more than 25 years in broadcast news in Hawaii.
Kathy has written and produced several specials. She won an Emmy Award for a half-hour program called "SEARCH Hawai'i: Where Food Meets Culture," a Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter Award for Best Documentary for "Hōkūleʻa: Her Farthest Journey," as well as an SPJ award for a feature article she wrote for Ka Wai Ola newspaper.
Kathy is the youngest of 7 children and is the mother of twins. Both her parents passed away in 2017, her father having suffered dementia for several years.
She brings to Kupuna Life not only her passion for story-telling, but also her compassion for kupuna and the stories they have to tell.
Suzanne Hull has 28 years of experience with the Department of Human Services. She obtained her Master’s degree in Social Worker from the University of Hawaii in 2007. Suzanne has held various positions under child welfare services including adoption work with foster children. Suzanne spent several years administering contracts for the Social Service Division. While in this capacity, she was responsible for ensuring that agencies provide necessary services to children and families as well as seniors. In 2010, Suzanne became the Director of the Senior Companion Program, providing statewide oversight and support to 105 senior companions who help make independence a reality for the elderly in Hawaii. In 2015, she became the Director of the Foster Grandparent Program overseeing 100 volunteers statewide. This intergenerational program engages kupuna in schools and child development centers to support school readiness and academic achievement of children.
During her free time, Suzanne keeps busy with two active daughters who are 17 and 15 years of age. She is serves at her church in various capacities. Suzanne enjoys crafting, jogging, tennis and walking her dog Bella
Martha Khlopin is a graduate of New York University, and has been a licensed General Agent and Registered Planner since 1995.
She hosts a weekly radio show, “A Medicare Moment with Martha,” and co-produces a weekly program on community television by the same name. Martha also writes for Generations Magazine and conducts quarterly Medicare pre-retirement workshops for several companies and non-profit groups throughout the islands. She is also founder of the annual Ms. Medicare. “Age of Elegance” Pageant launches in 2014.
Prior to transitioning to the health care industry, Martha worked as an Assistant Vice President for Bishop Trust Company, and as a Trust Office with First Hawaiian Bank. She is also a former Vice President with Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter Reynolds in Manhattan.
arth is currently on the board of the Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society, the American Business Women’s Association and the Family Education Training Center.
Lyn Moku is the primary caregiver to her husband Nelson and serves as secretary for two advocacy coalitions – the Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition (HFCGC) and Kokua Council. She has been a member of KHON2 TV’s Kupuna Life/ Elderhood Project advisory board for eight years and is a representative for the HFCGC.
The mission of the HFCGC is to improve the quality of life of those who give and receive care by increasing community awareness of caregiver issues through continuing advocacy, education, and training. The Coalition produces the annual Aging & Disability Issues report, conducts a Family Caregiver Awareness Day at the Capitol, and provides information and education. They are strong advocates for State Kupuna Care and Federal funding for programs and services for seniors and their families.
Lyn worked in the non-profit sector for the past twenty years, most recently as the Director of Lanakila Meals on Wheels, the largest provider of nutritious home delivered and group dining meals to seniors on Oahu. She was also the Office and Program Manager of the Hawaii Division of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association in Hawaii.
She worked with people with chronic, often disabling diseases and their families and continues to be an advocate for people of all ages. As a caregiver, first to her mother-in-law and her mother, and years later to her husband, she experienced many of the same challenges her clients were going through.
What she learned about caregiving at work, she applied to her family. As a family caregiver, she identified strongly with her clients and helped them obtain the services they needed and to cope with changes in their lives. She enjoys working with and for seniors and their families – and continues to seek a balance in her life between work, family, friends ... and self.
Wendy Oshiro is an educator and reverse mortgage specialist. After 16 years of teaching, she entered the reverse mortgage industry shortly after both of her parents lost their independence.
Believing the myths about reverse mortgages, she opted instead to sell her parents' home to pay for long term care and ended their hope of ever returning home. Subsequently discovering the truth about the benefits, features, costs and implications of the reverse mortgage program she realized it could have helped her parents stay at home.
ow she's on a mission to educate seniors and families about their options in retirement so they might make informed decisions based on the facts.
Scott Spallina is the Supervisor of the Elder Abuse Justice Unit at the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu. Scott established the Elder Abuse Justice Unit in 2008, at the direction of the then Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle. The goal of the unit was and still is to “enhance awareness, prevention, and prosecution of crimes affecting the elderly” in Hawaii.
The current Prosecuting Attorney, Keith Kaneshiro remains committed to fighting elder abuse and improving the quality of life for all seniors in the State of Hawaii. He has expanded the unit to three additional attorneys, two staff members and three law clerks.
During his 19 year career with the Prosecutor's Office, Scott also headed the Domestic Violence Branch.
Before attending law school, Scott worked as a private investigator for Goodenow Associates/Safeguard Services in Honolulu and volunteered for 6 years as a crisis counselor for the Suicide Crisis Center. After graduation from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, Scott clerked for Judge Marie Milks, worked for the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the private law firm of Koshiba and Associates before joining the Prosecutor’s Office.
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