About the Elderhood Project

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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 Elderhood Project, focusing on caregiving and aging issues facing Hawaii’s seniors, and their families and caregivers.

The goal of The Elderhood Project 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.

Wes Lum is a longtime advocate for Hawaii’s aging community and is the Director of the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging (EOA). Prior to his appointment to EOA, Dr. Lum was most recently an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii School of Social Work. Dr. Lum also previously worked at the University of Hawaii Center on Aging, at the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii as Director of Government Affairs, and as a legislative analyst in the state House of Representatives Majority Staff Office. Dr. Lum has a PhD and MA in Sociology, and a Master’s of Public Health degree from UH-Manoa.
Wes 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.
Bruce Bottorff -AARP Hawaii
Bruce Bottorff joined AARP Hawaii in 2005 as Director of Communications.  He has an extensive background in public affairs and crisis communication, having previously served as a planning and policy analyst and senior speechwriter for top elected officials at the state and county levels in Hawaii.  Bottorff is a former business journalist who has also worked as an adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University specializing in corporate and political communication.  He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawaii.
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Percy Ihara is also the publisher/editor of Generations Magazine, Hawaii’s print media resource magazine catering to Hawaii’s seniors and their families with relevant stories and articles highlighting programs, services and stories serving our community and our Kupuna. Percy is currently on the board of the Arthritis Foundation of Hawaii, Financial Planners Association of Hawaii (FPA), AARP Chapter 60, Member State of Hawaii’s Executive Office on Aging’s Task Force for Alzheimer’s and State Plan on Fall Prevention, Kupuna Caucus and Kokua Council. Percy is also the producer of the KHON2 News Elderhood Project’s “Aging in Place” Workshop. For the last 7 years Ihara has provided workshops on various topics on financial/legal planning, caregiving, healthy aging tips and Social Security/Medicare to name a few. Percy Ihara is a 25 year veteran of the mortgage business where the last 10 years as a Reverse Mortgage Specialist, he has been educating the public and business professionals on navigating financial gerontology and the options of “Aging in Place.”
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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.