Kupuna Life: Kupuna playgrounds

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Imagine city parks with playgrounds for keiki and kupuna – exercise equipment in the outdoors for seniors.

Japan has thousands of senior playgrounds like this, and this is just one of the many possibilities that Bill 54 enables us to envision.

“This has been a long time dream of our community,” said Barbara Kim Stanton, State Director AARP Hawaii. 

Stanton testified Wednesday in support of the measure which creates an age-friendly city program, “to have an age-friendly community that looks at the physical infrastructure and a social infrastructure and does it in a way that involves community engagement.” 

“To have age-friendly directives in every dept., housing, the crosswalks, making sure our roads are safe, parks, putting equipment in the parks to exercise,” Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi said of the proposal.

Kobayashi’s bill follows up on a task force, which was set-up after the World Health Organization approved Honolulu’s Age-Friendly Action Plan initiated by Mayor Caldwell three years ago.

“We need more senior housing too, we need more affordable housing but also housing that’s specifically for seniors… the council is specifically working on having like care giving in condos so that people,  many people are older living in condos and instead of going to a care home if they could voluntarily set up a care giving program in their building that could work,” Kobayashi added.

Council Chair Ernie Martin asked if there were “any objections or reservations? Ok, members noting none.” 

The bill passed and so senior playgrounds on Oahu takes one step closer to becoming a reality.

Up next is another committee hearing, then a final third-reading vote likely next month bringing Oahu closer to a great place to grow up in and age in.

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