Year of Publication

2018

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Sarah Wackerbarth, PhD

Committee Member

Richard Ingram, DrPH

Committee Member

Ty Borders, PhD

Abstract

The primary purpose of this paper was to provide a policy analysis of the Kupuna Caregivers Act that was passed at the end of 2017 in Hawaii. This legislation provides a $70 daily voucher that working caregivers can use to hire long-term care services for their elderly loved ones. This type of assistance allows caregivers to stay in the workplace, alleviates the stress of caregiving, and assists them in securing their own financial futures. The number of people over the age of 65 will double in size over the next forty years, presenting a variety of long-term care challenges in communities across the U.S. Higher rates of chronic disease present in our society today lead to increased health care costs, higher levels of disability, and a greater need for long-term care services. As these long-term care needs increase, seniors will rely on family caregivers to help them age in place. For Hawaii, the combination of an aging population and an ongoing labor shortage forced lawmakers to come up with a policy solution that could provide assistance to the increasing number of working caregivers, help keep them in the workplace, and maintain the same level of care for their elderly loved ones. Public health professionals must ensure that seniors and their caregivers have access to quality care, support networks, and financial assistance to ensure a quality of life that is fair for all citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status.

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