Kupuna Caregiver: Cooking Up New Recipes To Keep Mom Active

Kupuna Caregiver

HONOLULU (KHON2) — “She’s a lady that keeps busy and she is feisty,” laughs Brenda Wong.

Brenda Wong’s mother is a cancer survivor who rediscovered her love for orchids and gardening.

“We have a vegetable garden now and every weekend she likes to know that she has something to harvest. She also has her orchids,” say Wong.

Mom has also discovered streaming movies, as well as YouTube videos to make her favorite chicken dish.

“One night we watched how to make Hainan Chicken all night until 2 in the morning. We tried it several different times and I think we finally figured out a good recipe to make Hainan Chicken,” says Wong.

Wong has also been busy as the Director of Food Services at Kapiolani Medical Center, where she gave us a tour last year. As a breast cancer survivor, she had no issues going back to work during the pandemic while coordinating all of Hawaii Pacific Health’s food donations. 

“I’m just in awe of all the people donating and their generosity,” says Wong.

The mother of three children has been generous with her time volunteering in her community and even started sewing again with mom to make face masks.

“I call her my factory supervisor. So as soon as this outbreak happened, I started sewing masks and sending them to families. I think it’s important to keep our kupuna active because if they don’t go out and they don’t get exposure, they tend to lose track of where they are and what day it is. My mom is learning. I think she recognizes that she does need to exercise and that she needs to stay active. In the morning, I ask her what she’s planning or getting accomplished for the day,” smiles Wong.

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