Hawaii Island Adult Care (HIAC) has been servicing kupuna on the Big Island for over 47 years. And recently, they started offering a monthly counseling service to caregivers for free.  

“I hadn’t even planned on staying for that, but I smelled this frying fish and I said oh what’s that? And they said that’s the bento they’re making for people coming to the respite session,” says Myra Reeder, kupuna caregiver.

Caregiver Respite Saturdays is a new service being offered to all caregivers by Hawaii Island Adult Care providing support, adult day care service for your loved one when you attend and meals for free.

“I focus on a lot of their strengths. They have some so many strengths that they don’t realize they have, and sometime life gets busy,” says Cheryl Dias, HIAC Family Caregiver Counselor.

John and Myra Reeder have found their strength while caring for John’s mother who attends HIAC.  

“It’s such a valuable service, it really is. I mean we’ve both benefited tremendously from it. The family therapist Cheryl Dias is excellent. We’ve always known therapy would be helpful for us but it’s very expensive. Here it’s provided,” says John Reeder, kupuna caregiver.

Cheryl Dias joined HIAC last year as their Family Caregiver Counselor in part because her grandfather attended HIAC.

“You know my grandfather who raised me went to HIAC and they took such good care of him. I wanted to explore what is HIAC,” says Dias.

In addition to Respite Saturdays, HIAC also provides their members with additional caregiver support from group counseling to one-on-one sessions.

“Validation is really important. Knowing that they’re doing the best that they can in that role,” says Dias.

“Living with a mom, you can be triggered a lot. She helps to smooth that out and how best to deal with someone in this situation. You’re at peace, your household is under more harmony. and that’s what we really need,” says Myra.

John and Myra have found their peace and joy while caring for mom who will soon be celebrating her 92nd birthday.

“Resilience. My mom has been through a lot in her life. She grew up in war time Japan and she survived. It taught me to go with the flow, to address problems as they arise, be strong, we need that now,” says John.

“To be able to support our caregivers that way just brings so much joy to my heart and to care for them at that time,” says Dias.

For more information, visit the Hawaii Island Adult Care website.