Where Is the Support for Disabled Hawaiians?

Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii signed new laws on Friday aimed at enhancing rights for Kūpuna and disabled people. Kūpuna means grandparent, ancestor, and/or esteemed elder. Kūpuna were highly esteemed in Hawaiian society and saw as an essential link as bearers of traditional knowledge.

According to Green, one in every four people in Hawaii has a disability or is elderly. Like the rest of the country, Hawaii’s medical system is overwhelmed. This affects families statewide. Ava Rezentes requires in home nursing care. In March of this year, she no longer had any nursing care. Nurses are leaving the home healthcare sector in favor of hospital positions which often provide better compensation.

Green signed a number of laws aimed at protecting vulnerable populations, including one targeting illegal care homes.

Unlicensed and unauthorized care houses, according to Rep. John Mizuno, have been a problem for years. Last year, the state Department of Health ordered the closure of a care home in Pearl City that was operating without a license.They were ordered to cease operations, move all of their residents to a licensed care home within a week, and pay administrative penalties totaling $271,600.

If they continue to operate, they could face fines of up to $1,000 each day. The guidelines also punish people who refer patients to unlicensed care facilities.The state Department of Human Services hopes it will help dissuade people from sending patients to unliscensed care facilities.

Other laws signed concern the provision of Braille and audio books for blind students. Furthermore, prescription bottles and containers must include accessible markings for those who are blind or have reading impairments.

The improvement of training services for blind individuals in the neighboring islands is the topic of another new law. The governor also signed legislation to finance a public awareness campaign for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Disabled people deserve to receive care whenever they live. Unlicensed care facilities must be shut down because they put people’s lives at risk.

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