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New law allows couple to reunite


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POSTED: Thursday, April 23, 2009

An 87-year-old woman cried tears of joy yesterday in anticipation of a bill-signing that would allow her to reunite with her husband after living apart for two years.

               

     

 

REUNION FOR COUPLE

        Under Senate Bill 190, signed into law yesterday:
       

» Two private-pay individuals will be allowed to reside in the same community care foster family home under a two-year demonstration project overseen by the state Department of Human Services.

       

» Individuals can continue living in the same care home after the demonstration project ends.

       

Under previous law, only one private-pay individual was allowed to live in a community care foster family home. Sidney and Terry Kaide are private-pay clients.

       

 

       

“;I called the caregiver today to let my husband know the governor is going to sign the bill and I can be with him,”; said a weeping Terry Kaide.

Gov. Linda Lingle signed Senate Bill 190 into law during a ceremony in her office at the state Capitol yesterday, allowing Kaide to move into a Kaumana care home on the Big Island where her husband of 63 years, Sidney, is living.

“;This is a great day,”; said Lingle. “;It ends an injustice for one family and it brings hope to families who may find themselves in a similar situation.”;

Sidney Kaide, 89, was diagnosed with bladder cancer and has been at the care home since 2003. He is unable to speak and is bedridden.

Terry Kaide, who turned 87 Tuesday, lives in a community care foster family home almost 10 miles away from her husband. She is paralyzed from the waist down after suffering complications from multiple back surgeries.

She pays her caregiver $500 a month to drive her to see her husband.

The new law, which became effective yesterday, allows two private-pay individuals to reside in the same community care foster family home under a two-year project the Department of Human Services will oversee. One of the qualifications under the new law is that the care home must be certified with three beds.

An application submitted by Sidney Kaide's care home operator to certify a third bed was approved Tuesday. Terry Kaide is expected to move in shortly.

During the ceremony, Lillian Koller, director of the Department of Human Services, said the law strikes “;an appropriate and compassionate balance”; between meeting the needs of Medicaid and private-pay clients.

After the ceremony, Kaide's daughter, Gale Sakaguchi, said, “;I know my dad is rejoicing. ... I think if he could speak, my dad would say, 'Mom, I knew you could do it.'”;