Keeping Kauai Kupuna Safe

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented times to the island of Kaua‘i. Kauai Adult Day Health Center (KADH) focuses on the health and well-being of the most high-risk population.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Measures Taken to Keep Our Kupuna Safe

While it was a difficult decision, after receiving the news of the first positive COVID-19 case on Kaua‘i, Kauai Adult Day Health Center temporarily closed its program on the afternoon of March 18, 2020. These measures were taken to protect, care for, and maintain the health of participants and their families, from COVID-19.

Although the facility closed, KADH continues to communicate with participants isolating at home. We recognize that our kupuna still need resources, they still need to know people care about them, they are wanted, and what they do matters. We provide weekly phone calls, emails with suggested daily routine and activities, and a virtual program in order to stay connected. This support is done free of charge and it is done because we care. We look forward to the day we can safely open our program again.

Collaborating with the Community

With KADH’s temporary closure, daily nutritious meals, socialization, physical exercise, cognitive stimulation, and a routine, stops and participants need to find other ways to maintain their health and quality of life.

Kealoha Takahashi, Executive on Aging, County of Kaua‘i, helped ease some of these troubling predicaments by acting quickly and setting up participants with nutritious meals and supplies, including:

  • 15-day supply of MREs and water
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Kupuna Kare of Farm Fare – weekly packages of fresh produce from local farmers

Cloth face masks were generously donated by Barbara Green, Sea Peterson and Mary Zakula, for KADH participants and caregivers.

What can you do to help kupuna?

Connecting with family members is incredibly important, and there are a variety of ways you might consider using to connect with your loved one, including telephone, email, text, or video chat.

Support your local food banks – Kauai Independent Food Bank and Hawaii Foodbank Kaua‘i branch.

Heed the leadership and advice from our Mayor Derek Kawakami. Don’t visit older relatives unless it’s absolutely necessary — as in, they need food, they need help at home, they need supplies or they need their medications, and take steps to protect yourself and others around you.

  • Clean your hands often (wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people by maintaining at least 6 feet distance
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes (cover mouth and nose with tissue or use the inside of your elbow) and wash your hands immediately
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for days in a row.