AARP names Maui state Sen. Roz Baker ‘Capitol Caregiver’

AARP National President Eric Schneidewind (left) presented AARP’s Capitol Caregiver Award to Maui state Sen. Roz Baker (center left) in her office at the state Capitol. Standing next to Baker is AARP Hawaii State President Gerry Silva and State Director Barbara Kim Stanton (right). Baker is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers in 30 states who received the award for work to help family caregivers. -- CRAIG GIMA / AARP Hawaii photo

In recognition of her integral work to support family caregivers in Hawaii, AARP named Maui state Sen. Roz Baker as a 2017 “Capitol Caregiver.” She joins a bipartisan group of nearly 100 elected officials from more than 30 states cited by AARP for their work to support family caregivers who help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home and in the community where they want to be.

“AARP thanks Sen. Roz Baker for championing the Kupuna Caregiver bill, SB 534/HB 607 in 2017,” said Barbara Kim Stanton, Hawaii state director of AARP, which serves nearly 150,000 members age 50 and older in Hawaii. “She deservedly received national recognition for sponsoring the legislation to create the first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation program to help working caregivers. The new program helps make the big responsibilities of family caregivers in Hawaii a little bit easier.”

The Kupuna Caregivers program provides up to $70 a day of services, such as senior day care, so that working caregivers can continue to work while providing family caregiving to a loved one. The program started up earlier this year. Funding of up to $4 million is working its way through the Legislature this year to expand the program to help more people.

“Family caregivers provide invaluable care to their loved ones,” said Baker. “As Hawaii’s population ages, it’s important that the Legislature supports kupuna and the family caregivers who take care of them.”

AARP National President Eric Schneidewind presented the award to Baker in her office during a recent visit to Hawaii.