AARP wants older citizens to live well at home

WAIPOULI — Herman Paleka of Anahola was concerned about finding a qualified contractor and not getting “ripped off.”

He was one of nearly 100 kupuna who took advantage of the AARP’s Live Well at Home and in the Community event to learn more on how to remain in one’s current home and community as one ages.

The free presentation took place Tuesday at the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach.

“Nobody ever plans to get sick, or experience health changes as we age,” said Jackie Boland with the county’s Agency on Elderly Affairs. “It is a fact of life that we do.”

The Hawaii Demographics website has Kauai with 67,091 people, the fourth-most populated county in the state out of five counties. Of the total population, based on the 2010 census, 14.9 percent were over 65 years old.

This figure jumped to 16.1 percent (68,434 population) in the 2012 census, comparing to 15.1 percent in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau website.

Lee Steinmetz from the county was joined by Bev Brody of the Get Fit Kauai Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition and discussed the Complete Streets program and how smart community design can help people of all ages stay connected to neighbors, friends, and family.

This was graphically demonstrated following the presentation when members of the Kaumakani Senior Center, instead of waiting for valet cars, were picked up by a paratransit Kauai Bus, which provided transportation for the group back to the Westside.

Organizers were pleased with the turnout.

“We had a lot of walk-ins,” said Stu Burley, AARP volunteer. “There were some signed up, but I think we ended up with three pages of people who walked in.”

Janice Bond of the Kauai AARP said in addition to the free presentation, the Kauai AARP will have an informational table at the Kukui Grove Center on July 19, the night of The Starlighters on the Aloha Friday mall calendar, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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