About Kupuna Life

It’s been called a Silver Tsunami: a growing number of elderly in the nation’s population. Here in Hawaii, the latest state figures show by 2020, more than 25 percent of Hawai‘i’s population will be 60 years of age or older. Currently, an estimated 21 percent of Hawai‘i’s adult population cares for someone 60 years or older.

It’s likely this Silver Tsunami touches your life, whether it’s you, your parent, your grandparent, or another loved one in your life. How do you manage this? How can you navigate the overwhelming number of choices and decisions that need to be made?

KHON2 wants to help. Since 2007, we’ve presented The Kupuna Life, focusing on caregiving and aging issues facing Hawaii’s seniors, and their families and caregivers.

The goal of Kupuna Life is to bring awareness to both the issues and resources available to Hawaii’s aging population and their caregivers. We hope this knowledge will help our kupuna move through the final phase of their lives as gracefully as possible. Together, we can take this journey.

Ron Mizutani
Ron Mizutani is a self-professed news junkie. “Before entering high school, I already knew what I wanted to do,” he says.
The Kamehameha Schools graduate worked at Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a sports clerk while studying journalism at University of Hawaii at Manoa and joined KHON2 in 1985.
Ron started as a sports producer and worked his way up to Sports Director before making the transition into news as a reporter and eventually a news anchor. He’s covered everything from the University of Hawaii Warriors’ Holiday Bowl victory in 1992 to the retirement of Yokozuna Akebono from the sport of sumo in 2001 and the late Sen. Daniel Inouye’s last term in Washington, D.C. in 2012.
Ron took the reins of KHON2’s Elderhood Project in 2016 and did so with much passion and compassion. Since 2009, Ron has helped care for his father.
In 2017, Ron helped launch a fresh new start of the Elderhood Project, with a new name and a new look but with the same commitment to inform, educate and serve this vibrant community.
It’s called Kupuna Life. Our mission hasn’t changed. We’re still here to serve one of Hawaii’s fastest growing populations.
When he’s not in the newsroom, Ron can be found in the ocean “competing in canoe paddling events and being the best daddy he can be for his three children – Dane, Haven and Tai-John!
Lyn Moku
Lyn Moku is the primary caregiver to her husband Nelson and serves as secretary for two advocacy coalitions – the Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition (HFCGC) and Kokua Council. She has been a member of KHON TV’s Kupuna Life/ Elderhood Project advisory board for eight years and is a representative for the HFCGC.
The mission of the HFCGC is to improve the quality of life of those who give and receive care by increasing community awareness of caregiver issues through continuing advocacy, education, and training. The Coalition produces the annual Aging & Disability Issues report, conducts a Family Caregiver Awareness Day at the Capitol, and provides information and education. They are strong advocates for State Kupuna Care and Federal funding for programs and services for seniors and their families.
Lyn worked in the non-profit sector for the past twenty years, most recently as the Director of Lanakila Meals on Wheels, the largest provider of nutritious home delivered and group dining meals to seniors on Oahu. She was also the Office and Program Manager of the Hawaii Division of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association in Hawaii. She worked with people with chronic, often disabling diseases and their families and continues to be an advocate for people of all ages.
As a caregiver, first to her mother-in-law and her mother, and years later to her husband, she experienced many of the same challenges her clients were going through. What she learned about caregiving at work, she applied to her family. As a family caregiver, she identified strongly with her clients and helped them obtain the services they needed and to cope with changes in their lives. She enjoys working with and for seniors and their families – and continues to seek a balance in her life between work, family, friends … and self.
Wes Lum
Wes Lum is the President and CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging. Prior to this position, Wes was appointed by then-Governor Neil Abercrombie as the Director of the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging. Wes has also previously worked at the University of Hawaii Center of Aging and as an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, at the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii as Director of Government Affairs, and was a legislative analyst in the Hawaii state House of Representatives Majority Staff Office.
Scott_Spallina Photo
Scott Spallina is the Supervisor of the Elder Abuse Justice Unit at the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu. Scott established the Elder Abuse Justice Unit in 2008, at the direction of the then Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle. The goal of the unit was and still is to “enhance awareness, prevention, and prosecution of crimes affecting the elderly” in Hawaii. The current Prosecuting Attorney, Keith Kaneshiro remains committed to fighting elder abuse and improving the quality of life for all seniors in the State of Hawaii. He has expanded the unit to three additional attorneys, two staff members and three law clerks. During his 19 year career with the Prosecutor’s Office, Scott also headed the Domestic Violence Branch.  Before attending law school, Scott worked as a private investigator for Goodenow Associates/Safeguard Services in Honolulu and volunteered for 6 years as a crisis counselor for the Suicide Crisis Center. After graduation from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, Scott clerked for Judge Marie Milks, worked for the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the private law firm of Koshiba and Associates before joining the Prosecutor’s Office.