Faith Action Message for September 4-5 - Archived

Anniversary Memory—Jubilant over Kupuna Caregivers Act 2017

By Kathleen Jaycox, past Faith Action president, 2016-2018

One of my best memories with Faith Action came in July 2017 when Governor Ige signed into law the Kupuna Caregivers Act.  The first legislation of its type in the nation, this act provides financial help for families so that a working family member can remain in the workforce because stipends are available to assist with care services for the family’s kupuna age 60 or older.

This landmark legislation was not won overnight.  The Faith Action Task Force under the leadership of Dr. Clementina Ceria-Ulep had worked for years to gather stories of the economic impact on families when an employed family member must give up employment in order to be a caregiver.  The negative impact is not short-term; it persists long after the caregiving ends.  We received support from the national organization Caring Across Generations for more than two years as we worked to organize our members, share their stories with the media, testify before the legislature, and raise public awareness.  There were many ups and downs along the road to this success.

I was privileged to be the Faith Action president at the time.  Definitely a happy day!

photo of governor signing act
JUBILATION ABOUNDS: Gov. Ige signs Kupuna Caregivers Act of 2017 which gives a stipend to the family that cares for a kupuna so that the caregiver can continue to hold down a job. Hawaii was first in the nation to pass such an Act. In blue Faith Action shirt is Kathy Jaycox. In the back row from left-right: Task Force chair Clem Ceria-Ulep and members Patrick Zukemura, Bob Nakata, Barbara Service, Jan Yuen, Karen Ginoza, and Rosalina Burian. Kupuna from the community joined in the celebration.

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