In January 1976, inspired by the Hawaii County Office of Aging, Hawaii Island Adult care, Inc. (HIAC) opened its doors at the Kaumana Baptist Church as the only adult day care center for the Hawaii Island. In 1981, HIAC incorporated as a non-profit federally tax-exempt organization and also moved into the Old “Memorial” Hospital on Rainbow Drive. In 1987, HIAC started the Kona Adult Day Center (which later became independent). Our Hilo center is licensed to serve up to 105 participants daily, thus making us the largest adult day care center in the state. We serve East Hawaii – from Honokaa to Ka`u.
After 37 years of being located in the old Hilo Memorial Hospital on Rainbow Drive, we moved into the newly constructed Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Hilo Adult Day Center in the Mohouli Senior Housing complex in January 2019. With 120 participants enrolled pre-Covid, our Hilo day care center currently has 64 active enrollees and is open Monday through Saturday and most holidays.
In March 2014, HIAC was the first adult day care center in the state to achieve accreditation for adult day services from CARF International. We were re-certified in 2017 and again in 2020 through 2023.
Our clients at HIAC - elderly, frail, and mentally/physically challenged adults, are in a safe, enjoyable environment during the day time hours. Attending day care means they can continue to live in their homes rather than being prematurely institutionalized, and their caregivers can continue their employment. All of our participants are under physician's orders for supervised care, or families realize they cannot safely leave them alone at home. For caregivers who work, adult day care provides a protective haven, and for 24-hour caregivers (particularly of Alzheimer's patients) our program provides much needed respite.
We offer a plethora of activities for our participants that include focused artwork (we have a Ceramicist and kiln on hand), chair yoga/hula, ukulele therapy (mahalo, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and the Hilo Lions Club!!) ,kupuna taiko drumming, singing, dancing, morning exercise, and community excursions - as well as serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks made by our in-house Chef. Aside from the physical and mental stimulation our participants receive while at our centers, the greatest benefit is the opportunity for our participants to socialize with others.
In addition to caring for our kupuna, we also assure that their caregivers are supported as well. We offer a monthly Family Caregiver Respite Day, where caregivers can bring their loved one to the center and we will care for them free of charge. The caregiver can then be treated to a massage, participate in activities such as gardening, painting, meditation and movement, feast on a healthy continental brunch, as well as learn more about their loved one’s disease and how to be a better caregiver. The greatest benefit for the caregiver, is that opportunity to have time to themselves and to simply sit and “talk story” with other caregivers.
We hope to reinitiate a monthly caregiver group session at our Hilo center that is open to the public in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association of Hawaii.
Our staff are nothing short of “rock stars”! Many have been with HIAC for over 10 years – a few with 25+ years. Our staff are compassionate, caring and truly love working with our kupuna (elderly). We have an RN/Nurse manager on staff as well.
Our Board of Directors, 2021-2022
- Jay Ignacio, President
- Chris Schlueter, VP Governance
- Jon Miyata, VP Internal Affairs
- Judy Ah Chin, VP External Affairs
- Mark Mann, Secretary
- Amy Honda
- Nancy Kelly
- Alan Parker