Thursday, January 18, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 18, 2001

Waipahu pastor proposes adult day care

By James Gonser
Advertiser Central Bureau

WAIPAHU — Pastor Cristobal Bartolome sees a need in Waipahu and wants to help fill it.

Bartolome, of the Bethel Chapel Assembly of God, will lay out his plans for an adult day-care center tonight during the Waipahu Neighborhood Board meeting.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Waipahu Cultural Garden Park, 94-695 Waipahu St.

Bartolome said that as people live longer, more families in the area find themselves with elderly parents who need day care. So with his church sitting empty during the week, it is a perfect match.

"We see a lot of churches doing that," Bartolome said. "It is a good way to use the church during the day. No sense having it stand empty and using it only on Sunday."

Bartolome said if the board approves his plans he will move forward with the idea, hiring an architect to redesign the Ana Lane facility and seeking building permits.

The church used to have a preschool, Bartolome said, but it was too noisy for the neighborhood.

"We’ve been studying the situation and I think there is a need," he said. "It will be better for families to take their loved ones to a care center and pick up on the way home from work and still maintain the relationship with your family."

Vanassa Tanouye, director of the adult day-care center at the Waipahu Hongwanji Mission, said with the many retired plantation workers in the area she sees a great need for more such facilities.

The mission’s adult center has been open for two years and is licensed for 35 adults. The program already has a waiting list.

"There are a lot of people living longer, but they need the assistance," Tanouye said. "Many centers are filled or patients don’t meet the criteria. Our patients must be able to take a few steps and pivot to be able to use the toilet."

Tanouye said the centers keep the patients active mentally and physically and make home life easier for caregivers.

"It prevents premature institutionalization," she said. "If my mom, who was in a nursing home, had been in a day-care center it would have helped me by giving me some rest time to go shopping and live a normal life for at least eight hours a day. It gives you a break and helps keep the family together."

Tanouye said she is sympathetic when people come in looking for adult day care and find their program full.

"Lots of people coming in have the same tired eyes I used to have. I’ve cried those same tears," she said.

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