The pandemic has created new challenges for everyone, especially for those who are family caregivers and kūpuna.
When the adult day care program where Amy, 93, had been a participant for six years suddenly closed during the pandemic, her daughter Hilby, had to quickly come up with an alternative plan.
As a hairdresser who was subjected to the lockdown orders for nearly four months, Hilby thought it would be ideal to take care of her mom at home.
“That turned out to not be a good idea,” Hilby smiled.
She was able to successfully provide care for her mom for six weeks in the first lockdown but noticed her mom was not quite the same. Her mom’s health started to decline.
“Without the mental stimulation, she was getting old,” Hilby said, noting that her mom’s quality of life began to diminish since she could not interact with others her age.
The 24/7 caregiving, day after day, also became overwhelming for Hilby.
Fortunately, Hilby, a Palolo resident, found an alternative adult day care – the St. Francis Adult Day Center.
As an essential service, St. Francis continued to operate the adult day care program throughout the pandemic, carefully adhering to guidance on wearing masks and social distancing to keep the participants and staff healthy and safe.
Hilby said she immediately saw a difference in her mom when she started attending the St. Francis Adult Day Center. The previous adult day care program had nearly 100 participants. The St. Francis program suited her mom better because it was smaller and more intimate, and the staff could provide more attentive care.
“Crystal (Hoapili, program manager) and the staff provide personalized attention,” Hilby said. “I trust St. Francis.”
The pandemic has created new challenges for seniors and family caregivers, with an increased sense of isolation and loneliness for seniors. However, for Hilby and her mom Amy, the pandemic has turned out to be a pivotal turning point and the past nine months have proven to be one of the best times of their lives.