Aloha Habilitation Services cares for disabled

WAHIAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's just a little office in Wahiawa, but inside, they're doing big things.

Workers at Aloha Habilitation Services provide specialized, one-on-one attention to their disabled clients. They're the first to say it hasn't been easy in this tough economic climate. Even so, they're proving that small business in Hawaii works.

29 year old Chris Hiramoto loves it when his Aloha Habilitation caregiver picks him up at home everyday. I ask Chris, "Where do you go?" Chris answers, "We go all over, like Costco, Waikele, to town, to Ala Moana. Hiramoto has been using the services for four years.

"Basically, the services that we provide kind of help them to live a regular, normal life and just like any normal person, they have their own routine," explains Aloha Habilitation CEO Jay Raymundo.

Clients are referred to the company through their state social workers. From there, a team of caregivers, familymembers, and others, like therapists or nurses, create an individualized plan that targets the clients' needs. I ask Chris, "Is there a lot of individual attention here?" "Yes, there is, ma'am," he answers politely.

Since 2008, though, the agency admits times have been tough. It took a 20% annual hit when medicare and medicaid got slashed. That trickles down to the clients.  "A lot of them need these services and with those kinds of cuts from the state or the federal government, it affects their lives," says Raymundo.

Take, for instance, 45 year old April Mira. She uses Aloha Habilitation services five days a week. Not only does she like the services, she enjoys the holiday shindigs they throw. "Oh, I love the parties!" says Mira. "The Filipino parties? I work the food! I love it! But I gotta cut down now cause I go 24 hour fitness."

Aloha Habilitation is doubling up efforts to market the agency and educate the community about its services. Ironically, just as the economy took a nosedive three years ago, the agency received even more clients – forcing it to do more with less. Aloha Habilitation Services plans to expand its services to the elderly and children with medical needs. The agency hopes that, too, will generate revenue for the company.

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