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Honolulu ADRC Frequently Asked Questions

What is "Kupuna Care"?

The Kupuna Care program (KC) is a State of Hawaii-funded program that provides community-based long-term care services.  It is intended to provide in-home services to impaired elders who fall in the "gap group." These are elders who do not qualify for other goverment programs and do not have private assistance to help.  This normally includes those with financial resources not high enough to afford the high cost of private-pay services, but not low enough to qualify for regular Medicaid or have levels of care not high enough to qualify for LTC Medicaid (ICF/SNF levels of care).

To qualify, the elder must meet the following criteria:

  1. Is 60 years of age or older;
  2. Is a citizen of the United States or a qualified alien; provided that for the purposes of this paragraph, “qualified alien” means a lawfully admitted permanent resident under the Immigration and Nationality Act;
  3. Is not covered by any comparable government service, private-pay service, or other home and community based care service, except for other Kupuna Care services;
  4. Does not reside in a long-term facility, such as an intermediate care facility, assisted living facility, skilled nursing facility, hospital, foster family home, community care foster family home, adult residential care home, or expanded adult residential care home; and
  5. Has impairments of at least: Two (2) activities of daily living (ADL); Two (2) instrumental activities of daily living (IADL); One (1) ADL and one (1) IADL; or substantive cognitive impairment that requires substantial supervision because the individual behaves in a manner that poses a serious health or safety hazard to self or others.
  6. Having an unmet need of at least one or more ADLs, or one or more IADLs.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL): eating, bathing, toileting, mobility, dressing, and transferring.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL): cooking, shopping, housework, use of public transportation, use of telephone, managing medications, and managing money.
KC services include: transportation, attendant care, case management, home-delivered meals, homemaker, adult day care, and personal care services.

Eligibility for home-delivered meals have additional requirements to the standard Kupuna Care criteria above, and impairments must consist of at least two (2) ADLs or substantive cognitive impairment.  IADL impairments are not applicable to the eligibility of home-delivered meals.  A person must also be homebound and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Lack the physical mobility and/or mental capacity necessary to shop for food, leave home for a congregate meal site, or to prepare adequate meals themselves, and have no one to assist; 
  2. Lack adequate cooking facilities, are unable to acquire them, and are unable to attend a congregate meal site;
  3. OR are convalescing following discharge from a hospital or other convalescing facility and do not have help to prepare meals.

Priority for all services is given to older adults with greatest economic need, greatest social need, and/or at risk for institutional placement, with particular attention to those who are low-income, minority, with limited English proficiency, and/or residing in rural areas. 

How can I get a picture identification card if I don't have a Driver's License?

Starting in 2013, the duties for processing State Identification cards was transferred to the 4 counties of Hawaii.  You may apply at drivers' licensing offices.  For more information on applying for a State ID card in the City & County of Honolulu, click here.

How do I report abuse of an elderly person?

Abuse may be physical, psychological, financial, or sexual. The State of Hawaii Adult Protective Service (APS) office on Oahu, (808) 832-5115, has the authority to help and intervene in cases of abuse, whether suspected or actual. Any person making the report may remain anonymous. Any person who is neglected by others or exhibits signs of self-neglect should also be reported to APS.  Abuse may also be reported to the police by calling 911.

Will Medicare pay for a Long Term Care facility such as a Care Home or Nursing Home?

Medicare does not cover care homes. Medicare will cover a limited number of days for stays in a skilled nursing facility, normally following hospitalization. It does not cover long term stays in a skilled nursing facility. If client requires ongoing skilled nursing care and cannot afford to pay, client should apply for Medicaid long term care coverage.

How do I get one of those passes that allow parking in handicapped spaces?

The pass is called a Disabled Persons Parking Permit. Applications are available at any satellite city hall or the Customer Services Department, Honolulu Municipal Building 650 S. King Street, 1st floor, Honolulu, HI 96813. A doctor must confirm your disability. You may also download the form from Disability and Communication Access Board.

How do I get TheHandi-Van service?

You must schedule an in-person interview with the TheHandi-Van Elibigility Center located at 1100 Ward Ave. Suite 835.  Please call (808) 538-0033.  For more information, click here.

Who can tell me about housing options for seniors?

The best place for current information on rental housing options for seniors is the Housing Assistance Program, Catholic Charities Hawaii (808) 527-4777.  Also check out our section on Senior Housing.

How do I apply for a senior bus pass?

Apply at the main office at the Kalihi Transit Center, Corner of Middle Street & Kamehameha Highway.  Call (808) 848-4444 or go to The Bus online for more information.

Where can a well, active senior go for exercise, recreation and socialization?

Senior Centers are located at the Kaneohe Community Center (233-7317), Kapahulu Senior Center (737-1748), Lanakila Multipurpose Senior Center (847-1322), Makua Alii Senior Center (973-7258), Moiliili Community Center (955-1555), and Waikiki Community Center (923-1802). The Department of Parks and Recreation, City and County of Honolulu, coordinates several senior clubs located around Oahu. Call (808) 973-7258 for the location of one nearest you or go online to City and County of Honolulu Parks.

Where are the places seniors can go for a luncheon meal?

Meals are served in many group dining locations by Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Call (808) 531-0555 for information and applications. Meals delivered to homebound persons can also be arranged at Lanakila Meals on Wheels and Hawaii Meals on Wheels (808) 988-6747.

My home needs repairs. Can I apply for a low interest loan someplace? Can I get help with modifying my home to accommodate a disabled person?

Call or visit onlin the Rehabilitation Loan Section, City and County of Honolulu (808) 768-7076 for information and an application. They grant low interest loans to qualifying persons for home repairs and modifications to accommodate disabled persons (ramps, bathroom and doorway modifications, etc.).

I need help preparing my tax returns, but cannot afford to pay a tax preparer.

The AARP Tax-Aide program offers several sites on Oahu where qualified volunteers assist with the preparation of federal and state tax returns at no charge. Call the Senior Helpline (808) 768-7700 for a convenient site or go to AARP taxaide.

How can I arrange services to help parents who live in another state? I think they could be helped by services like those available in Oahu.

Services for parents or any elder persons living in another state can be arranged through the area agency on aging (AAA) in their area. Their specific AAA can be ascertained via the Eldercare Locator through their toll-free number (1-800-677-1116). Eldercare Locator is a service of the Administration on Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.It is important to keep in mind that the elder may not be as willing to accept services as you would like them to be. Discussing how these services will keep them independent may be a good way to introduce the subject.

How can I apply for benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid?

To see if you are eligible for welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid, please call the Public Assistance Information line at 1-855-643-1643.

Does Medicare cover dental services?

Original Medicare does not cover dental services. Some Medicare Advantage plans may provide some dental coverage, however this is usually very limited. Medicaid does not normally cover dental services either, except under certain circumstances.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare is a Federal health insurance plan available to seniors 65 years and older and certain persons with disabilities. Medicaid is a State-administered health insurance program for persons with certain disabilities/medical conditions and persons 65 years and older who have very low incomes and limited assets.

Will Medicare pay for a nurse or home health aid to help an elder in the home?

Medicare generally provides medical coverage only. This includes visits to a doctor and stays in the hospital. Medicare will only cover short-term, in-home care following hospitalization, and when ordered by a doctor. Medicare does not cover custodial services, which are non-medical care services such as housekeeping, meal preparation and ongoing assistance with personal care.



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