Report Title:

Family Caregivers; Executive Office on Aging; Appropriation

Description:

Appropriates funds to the executive office on aging for a family caregiver services coordinator position, training for family caregivers, respite for family caregivers, and the establishment of an advisory board for family caregivers of seniors. (HB2113 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2113

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to family caregivers.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that family caregivers are quickly becoming the new advocates for the aged, a major focus of public policy in recent years. Family caregivers are those who provide care without payment or formal training to their family, friends, neighbors, or even strangers. It is estimated that nationally, family caregivers provide over $200,000,000,000 of care annually. In Hawaii, it is estimated that family caregivers provide about $875,000,000 in care annually.

The legislature further finds that family caregivers are a vital component of the long-term care system and that government needs to support caregivers in this often difficult and costly role. In addition, there is a need to coordinate and develop services and systems for family caregivers that benefit as many residents of the State as possible.

Family caregivers are often hidden in our communities, often unheard from because of the time constraints of their many roles and responsibilities. The needs and priorities of family caregivers need to be assessed to properly support them in their critical role. Family caregivers are often thrust into their caregiving duties and do not have the skills or resources to perform their duties to the best of their ability. Simple training sessions on such topics as program availability, financing, qualifying, and paying for services, safely transporting and moving a disabled adult, nutrition, and hygiene would greatly help family caregivers in fulfilling their duties and would consequently increase the safety and well-being of those they care for.

Respite services, including crisis care, provide temporary relief for caregivers from the ongoing responsibility of caring for an individual with special needs. Respite care is often the most frequently requested and needed family support service. Respite care has been shown to prevent or delay more costly out-of-home placements, reduce the risk of abuse or neglect, and help to keep all family members safe and stable.

The purpose of this Act is to coordinate and develop family caregiver services statewide by:

(1) Authorizing the executive office on aging to hire a family caregiver services coordinator;

(2) Establishing an advisory board for family caregivers of seniors; and

(3) Funding:

(A) The family caregiver services coordinator;

(B) The advisory board for family caregivers of seniors;

(C) Training for family caregivers of seniors; and

(D) Respite care for family caregivers of seniors.

SECTION 2. Chapter 349, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"349- Advisory board for family caregivers of seniors; establishment. (a) There is established the advisory board for family caregivers of seniors to be attached to the executive office on aging for administrative purposes.

(b) The advisory board for family caregivers of seniors shall advise the director in areas that shall include but not be limited to the following:

(1) Facilitating the exchange of information between organizations and individuals concerned with family caregiver issues;

(2) Establishing a strategy and guidelines for the training of family caregivers; and

(3) Establishing a strategy, criteria, and guidelines for the disbursement of funds for grants to family caregivers of seniors for temporary respite.

(c) The advisory board for family caregivers of seniors shall consist of not fewer than nine nor more than fifteen members to be appointed by the governor pursuant to section 26-34. A majority of the members shall be selected on the basis of their interests and knowledge in and their ability to make contributions to the solutions of problems relating to family caregiving issues and services and shall include at least one family caregiver member from each county. The director of health, human services, and labor and industrial relations or their designees shall serve as ex officio members. The Hawaii representative of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare shall be requested to serve on the advisory board.

(d) The regular members initially appointed shall be appointed in such a manner as to provide for staggered terms under section 26-34. Thereafter, the terms of office of each member shall be four years.

(e) The members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(f) The nongovernmental members of the board shall elect a chairperson annually."

SECTION 3. Section 349-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"349-3 General functions, duties, and powers of the director. The director shall have the following principal functions, duties, and powers:

(1) Serve as the principal official in state government solely responsible for the performance, development, and control of programs, policies, and activities on behalf of elders;

(2) Oversee, supervise, and direct the performance by the director's subordinates of activities in such areas as planning, evaluation, and coordination of elder programs and development of a statewide service delivery network;

(3) Assess the policies and practices of other agencies impacting on elders and conduct advocacy efforts for elders;

(4) Advise the governor on new legislation, programs, and policy initiatives and conduct such liaison as would be required to implement them;

(5) Serve as a member of advisory boards and regulatory panels of state agencies in such areas as income maintenance, public employment, retirement systems, certification of health care facilities and programs, social service and medical assistance, and housing and employment, among others;

(6) Administer funds allocated for the executive office on aging; and apply for, receive, and disburse grants and donations from all sources for elder programs and services;

(7) Establish a clearinghouse for complaints of persons regarding services to elders, or operations of state and county agencies affecting elders, investigate the complaints, and refer the complaints and the director's findings to the appropriate agency for corrective action;

(8) Adopt, amend, and repeal rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the purposes of this chapter;

(9) Employ and retain such staff as may be necessary for the purposes of this chapter, including a statewide family caregiver services coordinator, in conformity with chapter 76; and

(10) Contract for or grant such services as may be necessary for the purposes of this chapter, including master contract with other state agencies receiving federal and state funds for programs and services for the aging, and purchase of service agreements with appropriate agencies."

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 for the executive office on aging to:

(1) Hire a statewide family caregiver services coordinator;

(2) Cover the costs related to the performance of duties by the members of the advisory board for family caregivers of seniors;

(3) Provide training to family caregivers; and

(4) Provide respite services to families caring for a senior with special needs or who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the executive office on aging for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that section 4 shall take effect on July 1, 2004.