Top Ranked Assisted Living Facilities in Hawaii

There are 28 assisted living facilities in HI and the median cost of care is $5,375. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Hawaii is 4 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is Hawai'i Kai Retirement Community.

Hawaii is one of thehealthiest states in the countryand offers stunning views of blazing sunsets, ocean waters, and sandy beaches, making it a great place to retire. For people living on fixed incomes, however, it can be challenging to afford groceries, housing, and other necessities, as Hawaii has thehighest costs of livingin the United States.

This guide provides an overview of the senior housing options available in Hawaii, with a special emphasis on assisted living. It also includes some resources to help older adults manage their mental health and care for their legal affairs.

Hawaii Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options

Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)

When a loved one can no longer live independently, an assisted living provider can be a good option.  Assisted living residences are for residents who would like to, and can, maintain some independence but need help with meals, housekeeping, and some of the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as showering, getting dressed, or personal hygiene.

Some individuals have extensive medical needs that can only be addressed in a nursing home. Others are in better health but still need help preparing meals, bathing, getting dressed, and performing other activities. Assisted living facilities in Hawaii offer a safe environment for people who don't need 24/7 nursing care. These communities typically provide recreational activities,assistance with self-administered medications, meals, laundry services, and help with activities of daily living.

Hawaii requires all assisted living communities to be licensed unless operated by the federal government. Once an ALF obtains its initial license, it must be inspected andre-licensed every two years. The Hawaii Department of Health is permitted to suspend or revoke an ALF's license for failure to comply with state regulations, substantiated findings of abuse or neglect, misappropriation of resident property, or financial inability to meet the minimum standards outlined in Title 11 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules.

Difference Between Assisted Living and Adult Residential Care Homes

Adult residential care homes are similar to an assisted living facility where the home provides 24-hour living accommodations for individuals unrelated to the provider, where the resident requires some assistance in daily living activities.  These homes are licensed for a limited number of individuals, so the big difference between these two types of facility is in the number of residents.

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are a good housing option for seniors who can still live independently but want to downsize. Each resident or couple lives in a private unit, and most communities offer social programs so residents can meet their neighbors. Housekeeping, chores, and some meals may be provided, although these may incur an additional cost. Unlike the care given in an assisted living community, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management aren't available in these communities. 

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes offer the highest level of care of all senior living options. These communities provide around-the-clock supervision and skilled nursing care, and medical help is available. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Hawaii has both skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for people who require 24-hour care and intermediate care facilities (ICF) for people who don’t need as much medical care. Theaverage cost of nursing home carein the state is $12,501 for a semiprivate room and $14,113 for a private room. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Many seniors prefer to choose a community that will continue to meet their needs in the future. Continuing care retirement communities have independent living, assisted living, and nursing home facilities on the same property or owned by the same community. This model allows seniors to stay near their friends in familiar surroundings, even as their needs change. The care provided in the assisted living section of a CCRC is the same as in an assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options. 

Supportive Housing

Supportive Housing is a residential facility designed for older adults or persons with disabilities who are unable to live independently.  These individuals need help with toileting, bathing, dressing, medication management and administration, assistance with meals and housekeeping and other activities of daily living.  These individuals do not need regular nursing care.  There are several housing options available that range from living in a facility to residents living in their own home or apartment, with community-based support services.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care centers provide supportive services to people who need personal care and daytime supervision to stay in their communities. Those who attend adult day care typically receive nutritious meals and have opportunities to participate in recreational activities, keeping them safe and preventing social isolation. Some day care centers alsoprovide transportationand other services. In Hawaii, adult day care costs an average of $1,625 per month, according to the2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

Adult day care differs from the care provided in Hawaii assisted living communities because it is only provided during the day. This type of care is beneficial for older adults who live with adult children or other relatives who work during the day and are available to provide supervision on evenings and weekends or when the adult day care center is closed.

In-Home Care

There are two types of in-home care available in Hawaii: homemaker services and home healthcare. Homemaker services generally provide personal care and may also help with errands, chores, and housekeeping. Home healthcare can deliver these services and also offer medical care such as skilled nursing and medication management. Unlike assisted living care, in-home care is provided to people in their homes, making it a good choice for those who prefer to age in place. However, it doesn’t give seniors access to the social and recreational programming of assisted living communities. The average cost of both home health aid services and homemaker services is $5,720 per month. 

Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Hawaii

There are over 300 assisted living facilities in Hawaii with over 5,200 licensed beds.  The largest provider of assisted living facilities in Hawaii is The Plaza which manages 6 communities in the state.

Quality and Safety of Assisted Living Facilities in Hawaii

The Department of Health protects residents by licensing and inspecting assisted living communities in Hawaii. According to the regulations, every resident is entitled to an apartment unit with a refrigerator, cooking capacity, and a separate bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower. The apartment must bea minimum of 220 square feet, excluding the bathroom. Assisted living communities must also keep detailed records and have comprehensive safety plans to protect residents in the event of a fire or natural disaster.

All assisted living facilities in Hawaii must be licensed to operate. To obtain an initial license, the owner of an assisted living community must provide three references, disclose the identity of any individual who owns 10% or more of the ALF and submit details regarding any contracts or agreements related to the community. The owner must also provide a list of corporate officers and directors if the community is organized as a corporation.

Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Hawaii

Theaverage cost of assisted living carein Hawaii is $5,375 per month. This is $875 higher than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Hawaii is significantly higher than the national average.  The average cost of living is 93% higher than the national average with healthcare costing 15.3% higher and housing costing 215% more than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. Costs in the state range from $3,825 in Kahului to $5,375 in Honolulu.  Being that Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there really are no neighboring states that could offer care at a lower cost.

Paying For Assisted Living Care In Hawaii

The average cost of assisted living in Hawaii is around $64,000 per year, so, understandably, you or a family member may be wondering how to pay for care. A range of options is available to fund senior housing in the state. 

Private Funds

Selling a home is a common way for seniors to raise funds for assisted living care. Income from pensions and Social Security may also pay for some care. Other examples of private funds include your retirement accounts, mutual funds, and other investments. 

Hawaii Supplement

Hawaii is one of the states that offers aSocial Security supplementto help older adults pay for residential care. The state supplement can be used to cover the costs of staying in an assisted living community. Supplemental payments are made with state funds, increasing the amount of an eligible individual’s monthly Social Security deposit.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance covers personal care, residential care, and other long-term support and services. Each plan is different; however, most offer a daily amount based on the policy that pays for assistance with activities of daily living. Most people buy a policy in their 50s or 60s and access it when required. If you or your family member has a policy, read it carefully to see what care it covers. 

Programs For Veterans

Hawaii currently has one Veterans Home in the state in Hilo. This home provide skilled nursing care to residents of Hawaii who served in the military. A second state veterans home is being built on Oahu.  This new facility will house up to 120 residents when it is completed.  The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices around the state where team members can help people obtain benefits and services. This includes theAid and AttendanceBenefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care. 

Elderlife Financial can help you understandhow to pay for assisted living.

What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Hawaii?

The services provided in assisted living communities generally come under three broad categories: personal care, medical care, and amenities. 

Most people move to assisted living communities because they look for easy access to personal care. These services assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting. Communities also provide supervision and can deliver care for unforeseen needs or in cases of emergencies.  

In Hawaii, ACHs must provide care and services in the resident’s care plan. This can include coordinating medical care and appointments. Communities may also deliver health services, with 49% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 47% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 39% of ACHs have hospice services.

ACHs may provide specialized care for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. These special care units have additional security measures to ensure residents don't wander, a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Typically, they also offer programs designed to improve cognitive function and routines that help lower stress.

Mental health issues are a growing consideration for communities, and services to address these concerns are becoming more common. In Hawaii, 80% of communities conduct depression screening, and 36% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 33% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents have access to all the resources they need.

Amenities refer to other features and services of the community. ACHs offer three meals a day and coordinate activity programs to help residents stay active and connected with each other, families, and the community. Hawaii facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services. 

Wellness Resources in Hawaii

Hawaii has been named one of the healthiest states in the nation based on an analysis of10 health-related domains, including physical health and access to health care and food. Although the state only has 28 hospitals, Queen's Medical Center isnationally rankedfor cancer care. It's also considered high-performing in six adult specialties and 11 medical conditions/procedures. Hawaii is also home to a Kaiser Permanente hospital and several community hospitals.

Mental Health Resources

Hawaii also has resources for people who need help managing their mental health. The state'sAdult Mental Health Divisionoperates state hospitals and community mental health centers, giving individuals somewhere to turn when they need mental health services.

Mental Health America of Hawai'i also advocates for the needs of Hawaiians with mental health conditions.Mental Health America of Hawai'ioperates a crisis hotline to help Hawaiians experiencing mental health emergencies. Those who need immediate assistance should call (808) 832-3100 in Oahu or (800) 753-6879 in other parts of the state.

The Transition Into Assisted Living In Hawaii

The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you'll notice changes in your loved ones that suggest they need some assistance. Signs that this environment could be beneficial include increased isolation, loss of mobility, noticeable weight loss or gain, and signs that they’re neglecting household chores. 

Your older family member may be the one to start talking about assisted living. For many seniors, the idea of moving into a home where cooking, laundry, and other chores are taken care of is appealing. For seniors who realize they need help with daily tasks, the addition of personal care may come as a relief. In Hawaii, 12% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (36%), toileting (52%), and walking (58%). Caregivers in ACHs help 63% of residents to dress, and 71% of residents need help bathing. 

If you think your family member would benefit from assisted living, start by talking about it openly. Highlight the positives of a move, such as social activities, cooked meals, and easily accessible assistance. Some ACHs provide respite care, which may allow your family member to have a trial run. Remember, this should be a conversation, not a lecture. Stay open to their opinion. If they’re not ready to transition to assisted living, talk about the care they need to stay at home. 

Hawaii Assisted Living Oversight

The Hawaii Department of Health oversees assisted living at the state level. In addition to granting licenses, this agency conducts inspections of assisted living communities throughout Hawaii, ensuring they comply with regulations designed to keep residents safe and healthy. If an inspection uncovers a particular area of concern, the Department of Health also has the authority totake corrective action, which may include suspension or revocation, depending on the severity of the issue.

Mental Health Resources

Not everyone treats older adults respectfully, creating a need for legal services to help seniors deal with fraud, neglect, abuse, and other serious issues. TheLegal Aid Society of Hawai'iis a nonprofit organization that offers assistance with various civil matters, including taxes, housing, immigration, debt collection, and access to Medicaid, Social Security, and other public benefits.

TheUniversity of Hawai'i Elder Law Programoffers limited assistance with some of the most common legal issues affecting older adults. Program volunteers can provide referrals to private attorneys who can provide more in-depth help with complex legal matters. Seniors in Hawaii can also call theHawai'i Lawyer Referral Serviceat (808) 537-9140 to find an attorney with expertise in elder law.