Aloha! Hawaii’s seniors want to age at home or in a place they choose for themselves. Those preferences often come with the need for some type of in-home assistance that is often provided by adult children. This is especially the case in Hawaii, where our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic influences create strong cultural expectations for adult children to care for their parents as they age.
In Hawaii, it’s estimated that there are 154,000 non-professional caregivers who willingly take on the responsibility to provide in-home care for family members out of duty and to avoid or postpone the need and costs of institutional care.
Family members often sacrifice their own physical health and psychosocial well-being to care for those who have lost the ability to care for themselves as result of age, chronic illness or a disability. Many of these caregivers may not have the knowledge or training to adequately serve as caregivers, and this adds to the stress, guilt and physical and emotional burnout common among caregivers.
St. Francis Healthcare System is committed to filing the need for caregiver education, training and support services. It will be the only program that is offered on an ongoing basis for the community. It will cover a broad range of topics designed to equip and empower family members who may suddenly find themselves thrust into the role of caregivers and are unprepared to adequately fulfill their obligations because of a lack of skills.
Our caregiver sessions will include topics such as infection control, skin care, incontinence management, nutrition, body mechanics, mobility, caregiver stress, safety and activities of daily living. There are also special sessions for those caring for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Those sessions cover basic communication techniques, common behavioral challenges, activities, nutrition and hydration, caregiver stress and suggestions on how to maintain respect, dignity and quality of life of the care recipient throughout the caregiving process.
Like Saint Marianne Cope and Sisters of St. Francis, we’re continuing to identify and meet the needs of Hawaii’s people to make a positive difference in the lives of others and create healthy communities. Just as we cannot treat the physical without taking into account the emotional and spiritual aspects of care, we cannot care for patients without also looking after the needs of their caregivers. We’re excited about launching this new service, starting with introductory overviews of our caregiver sessions. In the months to come, we’re looking forward to hearing stories of how lives have been transformed!
Mahalo for your ongoing support to carry on the legacy of caring started by the Sisters of St. Francis.