Sunday, February 1, 2004

John Phillip Young, who celebrated his 81st birthday yesterday, danced a hula at the Lunalilo Home benefit luau.

Lunalilo Home plans
day care for adults

The elderly home hopes
to start the program in April

Napua Stevens dreamed of opening a day-care program for the elderly at Lunalilo Home, said her daughter, R.M. Keahi Allen, a trustee of the King William Charles Lunalilo Trust Estate.

That dream may soon come true.

"She (Stevens) felt that the Lunalilo Home would be a perfect setting for adult day care," Allen said.

Lunalilo Home is completing a transformation that started with a $4.5 million renovation to better serve the elderly. Adult day care -- operated much like child day care -- will be the last of three new programs started at Lunalilo Home. The others are meals on wheels and respite care for the elderly.

Trustees are awaiting a conditional-use permit to operate the adult day-care program at Lunalilo Home at 501 Kekauluohi St. in Hawaii Kai. The program is tentatively scheduled to start in April.

"I'm really pleased about it," said Allen, whose thoughts turned to her mother. "Hopefully, she's proud of what we've done, the accomplishments we've made since her passing."

The estate hosted a benefit luau yesterday at the home commemorating the 169th birthday anniversary of King Lunalilo. Lunalilo's will established the care home for elderly native Hawaiians more than 120 years ago.

However, the estate has no assets other than the home and the land under it, so the trust must constantly raise funds to maintain the operation of the home.

Karen Carroll, right, director of the Kaimipono Day Care Program at Lunalilo Home in Hawaii Kai, played a game called Safari Race with residents Friday in the home's dining room. Home director John Alamodin, left, watched the game.

Lunalilo Home shut down in 1997 for the renovation. Modifications were done to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as improvements made to the interior structure and the electrical and plumbing system. The care home reopened in August 2001 and is now occupied by 37 residents.

Lunalilo Home was originally built in 1914 as a dormitory for workers and officers of the Marconi Wireless Co. The original Lunalilo Home was located at what is now Roosevelt High School. It moved to the Hawaii Kai location in 1927.

During the 4 1/2-year renovation of the home, trustees worked on a strategic plan to better serve Hawaiians and the community.

The respite care, meals on wheels and the new day-care programs are self-supporting and open to anyone regardless of ancestry, while the residential care home will still be reserved for native Hawaiians, Allen said.

"Our intent was to serve the elderly," said trustee Eugene Tiwanak. "The trust was emphasized to serve the elderly."

Tiwanak said they hope to use their programs as a model to establish such services throughout the state.

"The intent of the will is to take it throughout the state, beyond the grounds of Lunalilo," Tiwanak said. "We want to be the experts in kupuna care."

The adult day-care program will include meals, snacks and activities such as arts and crafts, light exercises and excursions. Executive John Alamodin said they hope to allow more flexibility for family members with early drop-off times at 6 to 6:30 a.m.

Families need a safe place to leave their elders while they are at work, said Allen, adding that they often receive phone calls from people asking whether the care home provides an adult day-care program.

"We hope to serve the community a little bit better," she said.

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, commended Lunalilo trustees.

"They were very diligent of pursuing that goal and now in the process of continuing to vision the reach of the Lunalilo trust and their services to elders," said Apoliona, referring to trustees Allen, Tiwanak and Stanley Hong. "This is a good option for families."

Alamodin said they are also looking into providing adult day care seven days a week, depending on how many residents are interested in the program. The cost for the program has yet to be determined, but similar programs charge between $50 and $75 a day.

The program is expected to be staffed with a director, nurse, nurse aides, and activities specialists and coordinators. The number of people Lunalilo can accommodate remains to be determined by the state Department of Human Services.

Those who are interested in the program can call the Lunalilo Home at 395-1000.


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