Betsy's family touched by 11 years of care


Over a decade ago, Betsy Ouchi’s children made the difficult decision to move their mother from her home to Hale Makua’s Kahului. As difficult as the decision was, the transition was painless and Betsy easily adjusted to her new home and surroundings.

In Betsy’s 11 years residing at Hale Makua, she made a lot of new friends, and warmed the hearts of everyone around her. Activities Director, Teresa Lopes, who has known Betsy for her entire stay at Hale Makua, shares, “Betsy saw the beauty in everything. She was warm and kind and always had a little smirk on her face. Betsy didn’t care who you were, or what you believed in, she wanted to be your friend and she made everyone that she met feel special.”

Each year a resident or resident family member is asked to speak at our annual fundraiser, Kokua for Kupuna, about the services that they or their loved one has received at Hale Makua. Teresa immediately suggested Betsy’s family because of the gratitude they have shown for our organization over the years. In August, Betsy’s health started to decline so when we asked her children to speak we weren’t sure they’d be up for it. Despite Betsy's health, they happily agreed and appointed Betsy’s son-in-law Lester to speak on behalf of the entire family. “He’s the talkative one, and the jokester, so he’ll be the most comfortable speaking in front of a crowd”, said Sharon Ueoka, Betsy’s Daughter.

Just days before Kokua for Kupuna, Betsy passed away peacefully. While her family mourned the loss of their beloved mother, they held steadfast to wanting to share her story and experience with Hale Makua. Here is a portion of what Lester had to say that evening:

“Mom was a very sociable person. She adjusted to her new life at Hale Makua from day one. You would never find her sitting in her room as she was always in the dining room, also known as the Aloha Café, from early in the morning for breakfast, then reading the newspaper and doing crossword puzzles, then waiting for lunch and dinner. She made a lot of friends and enjoyed participating in all of the activities. She also enjoyed all of the entertainment there, especially the bon dance. Her greatest pleasure was playing bingo and she was there for every bingo game. Because she spent so much time in the dining room, she was often referred to as the Dining Room Queen. Teresa and the activities staff really take care of the residents.

We feel Mom has lived with her health issues for so many years and she would not have lasted for 11+ years at Hale Makua if not for the excellent care and services she received. The Hale Makua staff has done a lot to make her quality of life better.

Mom’s roommate, Helen, became her best friend and those two got along so well and were inseparable. Sadly, a few years ago, Helen passed away and we were concerned about Mom. We were so glad she adjusted well and made new friends, thanks to the compassion, love and encouragement showed to her by the staff.

Mom’s brother, sister and my father were also residents at Hale Makua.  Each resident is so lucky to have angels taking care of them.  They dedicate themselves to caring for the sick and our kupunas.

When Mom’s health started to deteriorate earlier this year, the staff and family stepped up to help Mom continue her daily routine in the Aloha Café.

At Hale Makua, you automatically become part of a big family, with everyone working together for the benefit of the residents.  As we found out, you meet the nicest people there.  As a matter fact, I would like to reserve a space should I need long term care in the future.”

We were so honored to have the Ouchi family (pictured above) as part of the Hale Makua ohana for the past 11 years, and are grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of Betsy's life. As best stated by Teresa, "There are so many wonderful things that we loved about Betsy. She is truly missed.”

Tags: Kokua for Kupuna, testimonial