Lanai celebrates new nonprofit serving island’s vulnerable kupuna

Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 at 3:15 PM HST
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LANAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lanai residents celebrated a new nonprofit group that is dedicated to providing health services to senior citizens in their own homes.

Lanai Kinaole held a blessing ceremony for the grand opening of the organization’s office Saturday.

The organization is now caring for 15 of the island’s most vulnerable kupuna. The goal is to eventually expand to take on more patients.

“Funding is a challenge for us,” explained program administrator Valerie Janikowski, who also volunteers her services as a registered nurse. “As a new agency, we’re pursuing funding in any form so that we can continue the services. There are more patients than we have staff for.”

The group offers skilled nursing through home health services.

Patients can also choose home care services, such as assistance with bathing, personal care and daily activities.

“They take care of everybody ― no matter who you are, what you are, how rich you are,” said patient Wallace Hanog, who suffers from diabetic ulcers.

The organization is charging patients a small fee, based on the person’s ability to pay.

The dedicated team is comprised of two volunteer nurses and two part-time nursing assistants.

Lanai Kinaole is working to secure additional money through grants and government funding.

“With having this Kinaole here is such a blessing to Lanai because we thought we were going to lose the care that was here before,” said Moana Freitas, the daughter of Lanai’s oldest resident.

Last year, a partnership ended between Arcadia Family of Companies and Na Puuwai, an organization that is part of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems.

The partners had been providing at-home assistance to dozens of senior citizens.

Lanai Kinaole was established to provide continued care for some of the most vulnerable patients.

For now, Lanai Kinaole is using Arcadia’s home health license while the group pursues its own state license.

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