Innovative home health care program available for kupuna on Maui

Ho‘okele Home Care Maui is operating a new home care system called Vivia, which enables seniors to receive consistent, frequent and shorter visits by the same caregiver.

Vivia is backed by proprietary software and a mobile app that connects the senior’s home to the agency, allowing for seamless communication, coordination and transparency for family members. There is accountability via GPS location visit tracking, task completion and verified activities for the peace of mind of families.

The home care system has been operating on O‘ahu for the past two years and is now serving 140 Maui kupuna and their families, with 45 employees, according to a company press release.

With Vivia, a senior is assigned a consistent Vivia assistant and Vivia team who serve them along with a group of clients who live within a close geographic neighborhood such as Kīhei or Wailuku. This enables the

The assistants are trained to deliver value to each family by understanding and achieving each family’s specific goals. In addition to a consistent caregiver who helps with various homecare tasks and provides social engagement, the family can choose how often they would like services, including frequent, short visits several times a day.

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Unlike most senior care companies, there are no minimum hours required. Common family requests include:

  • check-in visits a couple of times during the day while family is at work
  • daily in-person medication reminder visits to stay on schedule
  • help with showers a few times a week
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In 2021, there were 13,070 employed caregivers in the State of Hawaiʻi. The projected number of caregivers needed to serve Hawaiʻi is estimated to double to 24,800 by 2028, according to a company press release.

“In Maui County’s case, we also see an influx of older people moving to the island for retirement,” said Mary Lester, COO of Ho‘okele Home Care Maui. “This surge of incoming baby boomers and an overall longer life expectancy are among the factors contributing to this explosion.

“With the large number of boomers in Maui reaching the 60-plus benchmark over the next decade, our island will be presented with a notable increase in those needing Vivia’s services.”

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Vivia offers extra help and supervision by someone a client can enjoy a personal relationship with.

“This is especially pertinent for seniors who may have mild cognitive or memory challenges,” Lester said. “Tasks could be something as simple as taking a shower or cleaning the kitchen. Our support is measured in outcomes, not hours.”

Many families are unable to afford the high cost of senior care, so the burden often falls on unpaid family caregivers, some of whom give up jobs to care for loved ones. Meanwhile, some of those who might be able to afford professional care might have a harder time finding it because Hawai‘i isn’t meeting the demand for long-term care workers such as certified nursing assistants, registered nurses, home health aides, case managers and drivers.

“With Vivia, seniors can economically stay where they want to be, at home,” Lester said.

For the caregivers, Vivia is offering higher wages, guaranteed hours and a company car for transportation to attract Vivia assistants, the company said.

Recently, Vivia was recognized as one of the nation’s Top Innovators of 2021 by the national publication The CEO Views and won Hawaiʻi Business Magazine’s Small Biz Award in the healthcare category. 

For more information, go to viviacares.com.

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