Town Hall event on Monday Feb 29 at Sacred Hearts Academy, Honolulu from 6-7.30p.m. Come share your stories of caring for loved ones. Tell legislators why SB2478 is so important. RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/937725513007675/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the spirit of Lent, the Network Lobby has suggested we think beyond just the familiar rules about fasting and abstinence. Instead, the Catholic social justice lobby has called for a focus this Lent on closing the gaps that keep some in dehumanizing poverty, despite working two, sometimes three jobs. Their Lenten calendar designates a focus area for each week of Lent: tax justice, living wages, family-friendly workplace protections, access to democracy, access to healthcare, access to citizenship, access to housing.
SB2478 Will Help Families Survive Challenges of Care at Home
In many ways, the effort currently underway to pass SB2478 –the Long Term Care Insurance bill in Hawaii is a project that pulls together all of the concerns reflected in Network Lobby’s Lenten calendar.
Hawaii’s aging population makes this an issue that touches everyone–and disproportionately affects women who are more often than not, the primary caregivers. By 2035 one in three adults in Hawaii will be over 65. And the largest group within this demographic will be over 85. That adds up to a lot of care that will be needed– without systems in place to address it. As a consequence, caregivers are having to leave the workforce prematurely, making them vulnerable to the stress and cost of handling the care of a loved one at home, while also adversely affecting their own financial independence in later years.
SB2478’s proposed care benefit of $70 per day for 365 days ensures that everyone would have access to basic resources to provide care at home. It helps make possible critical assistance such as the hiring of home care aides or the purchase of equipment like walkers and ramps. This bill is NOT intended to cover the cost of long term care in a nursing facility.
It’s time to address this issue. So, don’t just abstain, this Lent! Attend! Joining the conversation about passing long term care legislation in Hawaii is an act of giving. It will help ensure that people we engage to care for our kupuna have a shot at a living wage. It will allow us all, together, to do a better job of caring for those who have cared for us.