Hawaii has among the highest percentage of seniors in the United States. That means we also have a high number of caregivers who look after our kupuna.
According to Dr. John Sabra, you really can't put a dollar value on their unpaid services. He's on a mission to reduce hospital visits and to get people home sooner.
He also says 1 in 5 people are re-admitted to a medical center or hospital within 30 days – and that's why caregivers need a good discharge plan.
“In the next 20-30 years, we'll see an 85 percent increase in caregivers, as you said, the population is getting older and families need to get involved – nobody expects a family to act like a nurse, but if we team up together and educate caregivers before they are discharged from the hospital, we can influence care and quality of care at home and prevent some re-admissions that we are talking about,” said Dr. Sabra.
Depending on the situation, Dr. Sabra says caregivers need to ask a lot of questions and may need to get special training.