Kupuna Caregiver: Family Affair

Kupuna Caregiver

HONOLULU (KHON2) — “We’re grateful that we have her at 98 years old. How many people can say that you know? And look, she’s pretty healthy and she can carry on a good conversation,” says daughter Eileen Clarke.

And mom Shizue Ishihara can sing too!

“Oh she loves to sing,” laughs daughter Linda Oka.

Daughters Linda, Sandi and Eileen have a busy schedule driving mom to her many daily activities.

From singing karaoke, to the Salvation Army, Tai Chi classes, and on this day with her fellow kupuna at the Makiki Christian Church.

“We all want to spend time with mom and we’re all pretty overprotective over her.

We don’t want her to have too much down time without anybody,” says daughter Sandi Ishihara.

“Oh she makes it clear, I’m very bored at home because watching tv and reading a book is kind of boring,” laughs Clarke.

“Yeah I like to holoholo,” laughs mom Shizue Ishihara.

Shizue Ishihara and her husband raised five kids and they always opened up their home to those in need.

“I remember we had friends on Kauai who had a disabled child. He needed to come here to get evaluated during the summer, so she took him in for the whole summer and he lived with us as part of our family.

And the social worker would come and visit with us. And actually, that’s why I became a social worker because I saw that and thought that was a great thing,” says Oka.

“She was a hard worker. She had two jobs and was working all the time and didn’t have time to play, but she’s making up for all the time that she missed,” says Sandi Ishihara.

So what’s the key to making it work? 

“Hmm, we have our ups and downs sometimes but we always communicate. I mean we talk it out, we work it out and then we’re okay,” says Oka.

“They like to be together, everybody is happy. They don’t fight too much,” says mom Ishihara.

“Mom is energetic, happy and always grateful. See it’s her, it’s really her. She doesn’t complain and every time she says thank you so much.

She never complains and that’s what makes it so easy and we’re happy to do it,” says Clarke.

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