Categorized | Health

Legislation reunites Hilo kupuna


Gov. Linda Lingle presents Terry Kaide with the signed bill. (Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office)

Gov. Linda Lingle presents Terry Kaide with the signed bill. (Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office)


Gov. Linda Lingle has enacted a new law that will benefit an elderly Hilo couple and other individuals and families in the future. 

The new law allows two private-pay individuals to live in the same care home. Previously, the law only allowed one private-pay individual to live in a community care foster home, with no exceptions.

The primary purpose of these foster homes is to assist low-income Medicaid clients, who have the most limited options in terms of finding care. However, the high cost of long-term care limits options for private-pay individuals as well.

This dilemma was personified by 87-year-old Terry Kaide of Hilo, who was not able to reside in the same care home as her husband of 63 years because of the previous state law. 

Lillian Koller, director of the Department of Human Services, supported revisions to launch a two-year demonstration project that will allow two private-pay individuals – including married couples and siblings – to live together in a community foster care home, providing they meet certain qualifications.

One of the qualifications is that the foster care home must be certified as a three-bed facility, with the third bed reserved for a Medicaid client who requires long-term care.

“This law is about real people and real lives,” said Lingle, adding it ends an injustice for one family and brings hope to other families who may find themselves in a similar situation.

With the governor’s signature, Kaide can move in with her husband immediately.


“This bill strikes an appropriate – and compassionate – balance between meeting the needs of Medicaid clients and meeting the needs of private-pay individuals,” Koller said.

Kaide was present for the bill signing ceremony with her three daughters: Gale, Charlotte and Annette.

“It’s about protecting and keeping our ohana together in Hawaii,” Charlotte said.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



%d bloggers like this: