City offers information for seniors online, by phone or mail
Question: I am in the “sandwich generation,” trying to manage my own life (job, kids, etc.) and also help out with my parents as much as I can.
Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser!
You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription.
Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story.
Question: I am in the “sandwich generation,” trying to manage my own life (job, kids, etc.) and also help out with my parents as much as I can. They are getting older and are on a fixed income. … I would like to find out about programs they might be eligible for, especially housing, but the Google searches are overwhelming and I don’t have much time. I’m not sure where to start. They don’t have a military background, so there’s no place like the VA or some agency like that. We all live on Oahu, but not together.
Answer: There is a ton of information available online, but it can be overwhelming to sift through, especially if your time is limited. We’d suggest that you start with the city’s Elderly Affairs Division. The website for its Aging and Disability Resource Center, elderlyaffairs.com, offers a variety of information, including about Oahu housing.
Within the site you can find descriptions of different types of senior residences (808ne.ws/eldhous), plus the Oahu Housing Guide (808ne.ws/oehguide), which is a detailed list of potential options for older residents who are independent enough to live on their own.
The former is helpful in clarifying the distinctions among “elderly housing,” “assisted living residences,” “subsidized apartments” and other descriptions you’ll come across. The latter provides details about dozens of specific properties on Oahu, including the housing complex’s name and location; age, income and other criteria residents must meet; typical monthly rent; waitlists and more.
According to the website, all senior apartment buildings on Oahu have waitlists, ranging from about three months to four years. Typical rent in newer buildings ranges from about $900 to $1,200 a month for a studio or one-bedroom apartment, it said.
The rent is cheaper in older, government-subsidized apartments managed by the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, but the wait is even longer. Public housing charges 30 percent of a senior’s monthly income as rent and the waitlist for an apartment is five to seven years, according to the website.
For readers who have similar questions but lack internet access, call the division’s Information and Assistance Senior Helpline at 768-7700 or write to: Elderly Affairs Division, Standard Finance Building, 715 South King St., Suite 200, Honolulu, HI 96813.
Q: Can mongooses get rat lungworm disease, if they eat infected slugs? Have you heard of that?
A: “I have not heard of that but I think it is likely that they can act as accidental (i.e. dead-end) hosts in which the worms do not reproduce, just like us. But they cannot sustain the life cycle as rats do,” said Robert H. Cowie, a research professor at the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center who is an expert on mollusks, including snails and slugs.
Ingestion of raw or undercooked, infected snails or slugs is one way the disease is transmitted to humans and dogs. Snails and slugs become infected by eating rat feces, which carries the parasitic worm.
Auwe to drivers who think it’s safe to drive 35 mph all the way down the freeway! It’s not! … Merge and speed up to the legal pace of the flowing traffic. — Frustrated
Every Friday I help my elderly sister pick up five to six take-outs from the restaurant. I was blessed on Nov. 17. A diner, Greg Leong, noticed my difficulty trying to carry the heavy box and offered to carry it down the street to the car. His kindness and thoughtfulness was very much appreciated. I will always remember him and his family in my daily prayers. — From RLK, a senior citizen
Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.