Hawaii is home to 154,000 family caregivers people who make sacrifices in order to meet the needs of their loved ones.
KHON2’s monthly “Kupuna Caregiver” feature is our way to say thank you to our unsung heroes.
For 22 years, Arnold Alconcel has proudly served as Castle High School’s band director. It’s a position that demands much of his time and energy.
Besides daily classes, there are parades and football games to attend. It truly is a labor of love.
“Every day is a challenge,” said Alconcel.
But his true love is at home in his 92-year-old mother, Francisca.
“After I do a full-time job here at Castle, I’m going home basically to another full-time job,” said Alconcel.
It’s a role that comes with many challenges and demands.
“Getting more than two hours of sleep is like a treat to me. She’ll call me to use the bathroom or whatever it is that she needs,” said Alconcel. ” If she’s cold or she needs to be moved, turned over or whatever, I’m constantly on call.”
Alconcel does it all with mom, from doctors’ appointments to trips to the mall, and even trips to Las Vegas.
“It’s still new to her, because of her memory,” said Alconcel. “Unfortunately, because of some tragedies that I’ve had in our family, it’s just me now. I’m all my mom’s got.”
Meeting her needs often means sacrificing his own needs.
“She’s very appreciative, and she give me hugs and kisses and stuff like that, and tells me thank you, and to me, that’s enough, you know?”
But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Even at my age, it’s still very comforting just to get a motherly hug from her, even just kisses, whatever,” he said. “It’s just comforting knowing that I’m still appreciated and she understands.”