27 October 2014, 6-7:30 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church; Honolulu, Hawaii
By: Dr. Clementina D. Ceria-Ulep
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, honored guests:
My name is Clementina Ceria-Ulep, a parishioner of Our Lady
of the Mount (OLM) Catholic Church in Kalihi Valley, and laity vice-president
of Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) and an
associate professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at the
University of Hawaii School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. It is an
honor and a privilege to be here with you this evening to talk about an
issue that is very dear to me and a concern to us all—long-term care.
Before I proceed, let me define the word “long term care.” Long-term
care is the umbrella term for the various supportive services used by
persons who need assistance to function in their daily lives. Long
term care services include nursing, home health, and personal care;
rehabilitation, adult day care, case management, social services,
assistive technology and living services. My interest on this issue
stems from my experiences while growing up and during my practice
as a nurse.
Long-term care is the umbrella term for the various supportive services used by
persons who need assistance to function in their daily lives.
My family was fortunate to immigrate to Hawaii from the
Philippines through the kindness of uncle Lawrence, a plantation
worker in the early 1900’s. In the Philippines, my family and I lived
first with my paternal and then later with my maternal grandparents.
My paternal grandfather then in his 90’s, helped my father in the farm
while the rest of my grandparents supervised the home–cooking,
cleaning, caring, and disciplining of the grandchildren. I remember
that our grandparents ruled their homes and were revered by their
children and grandchildren. To this day as my family and friends will
tell you, I am quite fanatic about keeping the house clean, a legacy
from my grandmothers.
Growing up, my first exposure to the issue of long-term care
was through my parish’s involvement in providing volunteer care for
the residents of Beverly Manor, a nursing home near Kalihi Valley
Homes. Once a week, our youth group–Junior Filipino Catholic Club,
visited and worked with the residents on arts and crafts projects. I
recall spending five years as a volunteer at Beverly Manor, where
loneliness seemed to be the order of the day. Over time, I got used
to the atmosphere. Then one day, I invited a high school friend to
accompany me on a visit to Beverly Manor. On our ride back home, 3
my friend cried all the way. She sobbed, “That’s so sad…I would
never put my grandparents or parents in a care home!” How many of
you, during your first visit to a nursing home, made the same
promise—not to put your parents in such a “horrible” place, but ended
up doing so because you simply could not help it?
While studying in Virginia, I befriended Helen who lived alone
and was in her early 90’s. She used to treat some students and I to a
musical play. One day, she broke one of her hips and became
dependent on others. Every day, I would visit and administer her
vitamin B injection. When she moved to a care home, she had to sell
all her prized possessions and used her lifetime savings to pay for
…she had to sell all her prized possessions and used her lifetime savings to pay for her nursing home.