Reunited at last


POSTED: Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anxiety of living apart from her ill husband for two years has eased into contentment now that Terry Kaide can live with him in the same care home.

Since May 5 the 87-year-old Kaide has been living in the same community care foster family home as her husband, Sidney, 89, on the Big Island. A bill signed into law in April by Gov. Linda Lingle allowed two private-pay individuals to live in the same care home under certain qualifications.

“;I'm glad I can be here 24/7,”; Kaide said during a telephone interview from the Kaumana care home where she shares a room with her husband.

Before the new law, the Kaides were living in separate community care foster family homes, as the previous law allowed only one private-pay client and two Medicaid clients to live in the same care home. The Kaides are private-pay clients.

Kaide was living in a care home 10 miles away from her husband. She paid her caregiver $500 a month to drive her so she could visit him. She is paralyzed from the waist down after suffering complications from multiple back surgeries.

Daughter Gale Sakaguchi recalled how often her mother cried when she had to leave her husband's bedside after visits, fearing the worst would happen when she was not there.

Sidney Kaide, who has bladder cancer, is unable to speak and is bedridden, requiring round-the-clock care. He has been at the Kaumana home since 2003.

The Kaides sought an exemption from the Department of Human Services for Terry to move into the same care home as her husband, but were denied three times because of the law.

Terry Kaide, her three daughters and other relatives traveled from site to site collecting hundreds of signatures in support of reuniting the couple. They also won over lawmakers to their side.

Another bed in her husband's room was certified by the state, allowing Terry to move in.

Now, Kaide wakes up in the morning and sees her husband. When she greets him, he squeezes her hand. “;He knows we're together,”; she said.

“;Being together all the time, this makes a difference,”; she added.

The couple will celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary today.

Sakaguchi thanked lawmakers and others for their help. Since her mother moved into the Kaumana care home, she noticed how happy Terry is now that she no longer has to be apart from her father.

“;There's a lot of comfort knowing that she doesn't have to leave,”; Sakaguchi said.