Honolulu, Hawaii — The 2013 Hawaii Cherry Blossom Festival Court assisted Maluhia’s nursing home residents celebrate the annual Bon Dance event on Saturday, August 24, 2013. The Court helped to wheel chair the residents around the bon dance circle while encouraging them to sing as well as making dance motions with their hands.
Maluhia Administrator Derek Akiyoshi said, “Planning an event for our residents wheelchair bound and with limited diets required some ingenuity and planning, but I am very proud of the Court for assisting in the event that got the residents engaged and excited. They took time out of their weekend schedule to assist Maluhia staff, volunteers and the Hawaii Shin Kobu Kai performers.”
Ashley Higa, Miss Popularity noted, “We realized that activities like the Bon dance help to keep the residents active and connected to their culture. As representatives of the Japanese American Community in Hawaii, we were happy to help preserve our culture and stay connected with the generations before us.”
“This event gave the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Court an opportunity to better understand the challenges that long-term patients face,” said Sydette Higuchi, 61st CBF Court Advisor. “At the same time, the Court also realized the opportunity they had in helping to bring joy to the nursing home patients by helping them to stay connected to a cultural event.”
The bon dance also included activities such as Okinawan food tasting and shaved ice eating.
Maluhia is one of 12 facilities operated and managed by the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC). Established in 1996, HHSC is a public benefit corporation of the State of Hawaii. As the state’s safety-net healthcare system, HHSC continues to fulfill the state’s promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare.