DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Though Lunalilo Home in Hawaii Kai was established in 1883 under King William Charles Lunalilo's will to provide long-term care for elderly Hawaiians, the adjacent King Lunalilo Adult Day Care Center, which opened in 2004, is open to senior clients of all ethnic backgrounds. Here, 92-year-old day-care center client Marie Hahn, right, says goodbye to Natasha Richardson, the center's program recreational specialist whose last day of work was Friday.
Site offers senior care
VIolet Zane is looking forward to her birthday Oct. 12, explaining, "After all, I'm 102 years."
That's how many years of life the engaging woman will celebrate on Columbus Day.
Center plans open house in July
An open house will be held from 9 a.m. to noon July 19 at the King Lunalilo Adult Day Care Center, 501 Kekauluiohi St., Hawaii Kai.
Tours will be given at the Day Care Center. Tours also will be available of the adjacent long-term care facility for senior citizens of Hawaiian ancestry.
The Day Care Center, which has vacancies, will accept seniors of any ethnicity.
It is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost of $60 per day includes two meals, a choice of breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, plus snacks.
For more information, call 395-4065 or see www.kinglunaliloadc.org.
She talked about her 33 years as an elementary school teacher during an interview at the King Lunalilo Adult Day Care Center in Hawaii Kai, where she spends two days a week.
She uses a walker and is hard of hearing but has a sense of humor and is "totally alert," said Jennelle Honbo, the center's director. "She is a book of knowledge. She has so much to say."
Zane is one of 18 clients at the center, which is open to seniors of all ethnic backgrounds and licensed for 44 clients. It can have only 20 a day, but most go only a few days a week, Honbo said.
She feels one reason for the openings could be that people think only Hawaiians are accepted for adult day care because Lunalilo Home was established in 1883 under King William Charles Lunalilo's will to care for elderly Hawaiians.
The home, which moved in 1926 from its original location in Makiki to 501 Kekauluiohi St. on the slopes of Koko Head Crater, continues to provide long-term care for Hawaiians. But the day-care center is also open to non-Hawaiians.
The day-care facility, which opened in November 2004, "is not just respite for caregivers," Honbo said. "It's a place for a senior citizen or loved one to have their own space."
Older people who no longer can drive, cook, shop or do other things for themselves often feel, "I'm good for nothing," Honbo said. At the day-care center, they meet others who are like them and feel "they belong," she said.
"It's a nice place," Zane said. "I'm comfortable here."
She lives half the time with her former daughter-in-law, Lillian Zane, and the rest of the time in her own home with grandson Tyler Zane caring for her.
The day-care center "has kept her active," Lillian Zane said. "I notice a big difference when she keeps active, and she likes it."
"I read the Bible every morning, and I love to keep up with the news," Violet said.
She retired at age 62 after teaching third grade -- "my favorite grade" -- at schools on Maui, in Kahuku and Aiea and finally at Kalihi-Waena Elementary.
Lillian Zane said she doesn't do anything for her mother-in-law that she can do for herself because she wants her to be active. When she drives her home, she said, the 101-year-old woman is out of the car before she can open her door.
The day-care staff also is "not here to do things for them" that they can do themselves, but to encourage them to participate in activities, Honbo said. "We stand by to make sure they're safe."
Seniors who are active, regardless how old, appear the healthiest, she said.
"If they're staying at home watching TV all day, most decline very fast. They have nothing stimulating, no conversations. They wait for somebody to come home, and (the caregivers are) tired."
The center plans physical, social and psychological activities for the seniors, including memory games, stretching and fine motor exercises, arts, crafts and music and monthly outings.
An excursion to Hanauma Bay, for example, drew a "wow!" response from the seniors because most had not been there for many years, Honbo said.
Andy Kamauoha, 69, said he has been going to the center twice a week since it opened. "I was original."
A Big Island native, he lives with his wife, Jane, and one of four sons in Hawaii Kai. He retired from Hawaiian Telephone Co. after 30 years of service, he said. His wife teaches at Palolo Elementary School.
"I like coming here," he said. "The staff is good. We do a lot of things, arts and crafts."
Without the program, he said, "I'd be home doing nothing, being bored."