Senior Guidance

Memory Care Facilities in Hawaii

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Hawaii is extraordinarily remote and not the most plausible option for memory care compared to the continental U.S., but for those fortunate enough to live in Hawaii, they couldn’t ask for a more scenic place to spend their later years. Hawaii dementia care homes are extremely luxurious and sought after by many seniors.

Memory Care in Hawaii - Cheapest & Most Expensive Places

The data on Hawaii Alzheimer’s and dementia care costs is not quite as available as other parts of the United States. While the state does consist of several different islands, only the main ones report data to individuals looking to place a loved one in a memory care facility. Here are the statistics we have for review:

The Cost for Memory Care in Hawaii Cities based on Monthly Average

  1. Captain Hook, HI               $4,750         
  2. Kailua-Kona, HI                 $5,005         
  3. Honolulu, HI                      $5,340

The Cost for Alzheimer’s Care in Hawaii Counties based on Monthly Average Median

  1. Hawaii County                   $4,930
  2. Honolulu County               $5,345

Hawaii Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care - Services

Hawaii has so much going for it that it is nearly impossible to find another place in the United States that is comparable. There is a reason millions of people flock to the islands every year, with some saving money for years just to spend a few days to a week in this tropical paradise. The possibility of living here year-round is a pipe dream for many, but not entirely out of the question.

While you may expect Hawaii dementia care homes to be the most expensive in the United States, there are actually several continental U.S. territories with higher prices. So maybe the dream of living here is achievable after all. Or maybe you have a parent that relocated here years ago after retirement, but needs to be moved into a dementia care facility in the near future?

Hawaii Alzheimer’s care homes are known for the plush living surroundings of their rooms. Many of the rooms are completely private, meaning you don’t share the room with any other resident. The rooms also generally feature a private, oversized bathroom that is 100 percent handicap accessible. Furthermore, dementia trained caregivers can assist with getting in and out of bed, using the restroom, or bathing on a daily basis.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are terrible diseases that damper many daily functions and one’s ability to think clearly all of the time. Staff is confident and maintains the belief that a cure for Alzheimer’s is just around the corner. Until then, maintaining the effects of dementia are of the utmost importance. Caregivers know that no one should be defined by the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. While they may change the lifestyle of a loved one, it does not define them, and they can still enjoy life.

Therefore, the top dementia care homes in Hawaii are safe havens for residents that need specialized treatment and 24/7 monitoring, along with medication management, daily food preparation and servings.

Hawaii Memory Care Regulations

Memory care facilities in Hawaii are assisted living facilities that offer a more secure service that accommodates people with memory impairments, including diagnosed or suspected Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The purpose of assisted living facilities is to allow residents to have as much independence as possible while staying in a safe, community space. This is accomplished by setting a standard for all these facilities to follow. Here is a summary of the regulations governing assisted living facilities in Hawaii.


All memory care facilities in Hawaii are licensed as assisted living facilities. These are licensed and regulated by the Office of Health Care Assurance in the state’s Department of Health.

Licenses can be revoked where claims of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of funds from residents are substantiated. Where convictions happen in court, the facility will lose its licensing.

Facilities that are holding a valid license are inspected a minimum of every 2 years before renewal of their license. This is an unannounced inspection that can be done at any time during reasonable hours of operation. The purpose of this unannounced inspection is to ensure that facilities are compliant at all times.

A list of currently licensed assisted living facilities can be found on the Office of Health Care Assurance website here.

General Regulations

Assisted living facilities must provide a range of services to support independent living for their residents. These should include:

  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • Group and individual social activities
  • Daily living assistance
  • Routine nursing and health monitoring
  • Assistance with administering medications
  • Behavior-related support services
  • Recreational activities

Along with these services, facilities must support residents by assisting them to arrange for necessary transport out of the facility for doctor’s appointments or other needs. They should also assist in arranging medical services to be provided to the resident, as well as hospice care when needed.

All residents will work with staff of the assisted living facility to create a comprehensive service plan. This plan gives details about the specific needs of the resident and how the facility will provide for those needs. Since the resident is involved in the process, the plan should be tailored to fit their needs and provide them with the highest level of independence and personal choice possible.

Throughout the care plan process, facilities will agree with residents about managed risk measures. Managed risk refers to the process of deciding what level of responsibility a resident would prefer to have over their daily life, and how much assistance is needed to live a healthy life in the facility that’s less likely to have a negative outcome for either the resident or others around them.

Facility Regulations

Residents should be provided with an apartment unit equipped with a full bathroom and detachable or removable cooking facilities, including a fridge for storing food and ingredients. Apartments also need 24-hour call systems to contact staff when assistance is needed.

Staffing Regulations

While there are no requirements for facilities to maintain a specific staffing level as compared to their residents, there must always be enough staff on the premises to provide the level of care agreed with residents. Since facilities operate 24/7, this applies at all times.

All facilities must have some specifically trained staff employed. These include:

  • Direct care staff to assist residents in their daily lives, normal activities, and social activities
  • An administrator, responsible for staff training and other supervisory duties
  • A registered nurse for resident assessments and supervision of care regimens

Regardless of their position in the facility, all staff are required to be trained in both CPR and first aid. They must also go through orientation when first employed. This orientation should include education about the philosophy of care for residents. Continued education is required for all staff, with a minimum of at least 6 hours per year of education on providing care for residents.

Staff may assist residents to administer their medications. Assistance with medication can be provided by any staff, including unlicensed direct care staff, under the direction of a licensed RN.

Hawaii Medicaid Memory Care Programs

Hawaii’s Medicaid program is called Med QUEST. This program extensively covers the needs associated with assisted living and memory care in a social setting. While Med QUEST doesn’t directly cover room and board in an assisted living facility, the program covers essentially every other cost associated with general care and memory care.

Some of the coverage includes:

  • Daily living assistance
  • Doctor’s appointments and treatment
  • Skilled care
  • Moving and transport service
  • Specialized medical supplies
  • Adaptations for medical needs
  • Meal preparation service
  • Laundry services
  • Limited homemaking services
  • Personal care assistance
  • Shopping services

Other services may also be included.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Hawaii

To be eligible for Med QUEST in Hawaii, applicants must be 65 years old or above, legal residents or citizens of the US, residents in Hawaii, and must meet income requirements in the state. Income requirements for this year are as follows:

  • Individuals cannot have a monthly income exceeding $1,389, with countable assets of $2,000 or less
  • Married couples who are both applying must both fit the individual income limit on their own, with countable assets not exceeding a combined total of $3,000
  • When one spouse is applying for Medicaid and the other isn’t, the individual income cap stays the same for the applicant spouse
  • Countable assets for couples where only 1 spouse is applying are $2,000 for the applicant and $148,620 for the non-applicant spouse

Med QUEST does not have a waiting list. Similar to an entitlement program, it is available as needed for applicants who are accepted. Even those who exceed income levels may be eligible for the program under certain circumstances.

Admissions Requirements for Memory Care in Hawaii

Hawaiian memory care facilities cannot admit everyone. These facilities are limited to admitting those who are able to care for some of their own needs and do not need constant, specialized medical or nursing care.

For residents who are already admitted, there must be a policy in place to discharge people who:

  1. Pose an imminent threat to either themselves or others
  2. Develop needs that are beyond the ability of the facility, including needing continuous nursing care 
  3. Consistently disregard the rules of the facility

Before discharging any residents, the facility needs to provide a 14-day notice about the reason for discharge. Facilities may use their own judgement to decide who must be discharged. As long as the facility is able to provide the necessary care for all residents, facilities may lean on the professional judgement of their expert staff to decide whether a resident must be discharged or not.

How to Pay for Hawaii Memory Care

All assisted living in Hawaii can be expensive, especially memory care units. Without the help from Medicaid or other public health programs, it can be difficult to cover the costs of memory care. Even with Medicaid, residents in memory care facilities will still have financial responsibilities

There are many ways to get assistance when moving into a memory care unit. In Hawaii, there are community programs that can help support the elderly with assisted living costs, government benefit programs that could apply in specific situations, and some financial tools to access a steady flow of cash to cover the extra costs.

Here are some of the ways you can pay for memory care in an assisted living facility in Hawaii.

VA Benefits – Aid and Attendance

Wartime veterans living in Hawaii, or spouses of wartime deceased wartime veterans, who are 65 years of age or older could be entitled to support through the Aid and Attendance program offered by the VA. 

This program can help to cover the costs of assisted living, including daily living needs, personal care, and more. Contact your local VA office for more information.

Area Agencies on Aging

In Hawaii, the Area Agencies of Aging can provide support and guidance to help you tap into local resources in your area that can assist with the cost of memory care in an assisted living facility. Whatever resources are available in your community, this agency will be able to connect you to them and help you get the support you need for a smooth transition.

The Area Agency of Aging was created in 2020 as part of a federal program connected to the Older Americans Act.

Reverse Mortgage

When the resources you have access to are not enough to comfortably afford assisted living care, a reverse mortgage can be another option to allow homeowners to get steady cash payments each month. This is a type of loan that slowly sells equity from your home back to the bank. It can only be done by homeowners of a certain age who own more than 50% of the equity in their homes.

While this may not be a good option for everyone, a reverse mortgage can be a financial lifeline for many elderly people in need of memory care who cannot afford it on their own.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance you purchase and pay for before you need it. This insurance type is not common, but it can sometimes be provided to employees by their companies or purchased by individuals. When used, this insurance will cover a set amount of the costs of care, depending on the agreement.

If a person in need of memory care does not already have long-term care insurance, it may not be possible to get it once the service is already required.

Common Questions About Memory Care in Hawaii

1. What is memory care and how is it unique in Hawaii?

Memory care is a specialized form of senior living designed for individuals with memory impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer's. In Hawaii, memory care facilities often incorporate local cultural elements and engage residents in activities that reflect the unique spirit of cities like Hilo, Lahaina, and Kailua.

2. What services are provided in memory care communities in Honolulu?

Memory care communities in Honolulu, like those in Waikiki and Aiea, offer services such as personalized care plans, cognitive stimulation, medication management, and secure environments. These communities focus on enhancing residents' quality of life while embracing the local culture.

3. How do I evaluate the safety features of memory care facilities in Hawaii?

When evaluating memory care facilities in Hawaii, such as those in Kona and Kailua-Kona, look for features like secure entrances, well-designed layouts, and proper lighting. Ask about emergency response systems and wander prevention measures to ensure the safety of residents with memory challenges.

4. What role does Hawaiian culture play in memory care for seniors?

Hawaiian culture plays a vital role in memory care for seniors. Facilities in cities like Hilo and Lahaina integrate local traditions, music, and arts to create a familiar and comforting environment for residents with memory issues. These cultural elements can evoke positive emotions and memories.

5. Are memory care communities near scenic spots available in Maui?

Yes, memory care communities in Maui, such as those in Lahaina and Kihei, are often situated near scenic spots. Residents can enjoy the beauty of nearby beaches, gardens, and parks, which can have a positive impact on their well-being and provide opportunities for sensory engagement.

6. How do memory care facilities in Hawaii address cognitive stimulation?

Memory care facilities in Hawaii, including those in Honolulu and Hilo, prioritize cognitive stimulation through activities like reminiscence therapy, music therapy, and engaging storytelling. These activities not only engage memory but also celebrate the rich history and culture of the islands.

7. Are there memory care options with access to Hawaiian gardens?

Indeed, memory care options in Hawaii, such as those in Kailua-Kona and Kaneohe, often feature access to beautiful Hawaiian gardens. These serene spaces offer residents a tranquil environment where they can connect with nature, enjoy fresh air, and engage in therapeutic outdoor activities.

8. How does memory care in Hawaii address residents' dietary needs?

Memory care communities in Hawaii, like those in Kailua and Pearl City, address residents' dietary needs with specialized meal plans. These plans often incorporate local ingredients and flavors, ensuring that residents receive nutrition that aligns with both their health requirements and their cultural preferences.

9. Can memory care facilities in Hawaii accommodate personalized routines?

Yes, memory care facilities in Hawaii, such as those in Kahului and Waipahu, often accommodate personalized routines for residents. These routines can include familiar activities, favorite foods, and cultural practices, promoting a sense of familiarity and comfort for individuals with memory challenges.

10. What memory care options are available in Kauai?

Kauai offers memory care options in cities like Lihue and Kapaa. These facilities provide specialized care, engaging activities, and personalized support for residents with memory impairments. The beautiful natural surroundings of Kauai contribute to a calming and therapeutic atmosphere.

11. How do memory care communities in Hawaii promote social interaction?

Memory care communities in Hawaii, including those in Wailuku and Hilo, promote social interaction through group activities, music therapy, and Hawaiian cultural events. These interactions help residents stay engaged, forge connections, and maintain a sense of belonging within the community.

12. Are there memory care communities with ocean views in Hawaii?

Yes, memory care communities with ocean views can be found in Hawaii, especially in coastal cities like Kailua, Wailea, and Kaneohe. Residents can enjoy breathtaking views and the soothing sound of the ocean, contributing to a serene and calming atmosphere.

13. How are memory care communities in Hawaii designed for sensory stimulation?

Memory care communities in Hawaii prioritize sensory stimulation through design elements like calming colors, natural light, and soothing textures. Communities in cities like Lahaina and Kona are often inspired by the island's natural beauty, creating spaces that engage residents' senses and promote well-being.

14. Can I bring personal mementos to a memory care facility in Hawaii?

Yes, many memory care facilities in Hawaii, such as those in Waikiki and Kihei, encourage residents to bring personal mementos. These items can help create a familiar and comforting environment, triggering positive memories and providing a sense of continuity for individuals with memory challenges.

15. Are there memory care communities in Hawaii that focus on outdoor activities?

Yes, memory care communities in Hawaii, such as those in Kailua-Kona and Hilo, often prioritize outdoor activities. Residents can engage in gentle walks, gardening, and outdoor gatherings, allowing them to connect with nature while benefiting from the island's mild climate.

16. How do I choose the best memory care community in Hawaii?

Choosing the best memory care community in Hawaii involves considering factors such as location, staff expertise, safety features, and engagement programs. Research options in cities like Honolulu, Hilo, and Maui to find a community that aligns with your loved one's needs and preferences.

17. What Hawaiian cultural activities are integrated into memory care programs?

Memory care programs in Hawaii often integrate Hawaiian cultural activities such as hula dancing, lei making, and ukulele playing. These activities, found in communities across cities like Lahaina and Kailua-Kona, celebrate local heritage while providing residents with enjoyable and stimulating experiences.

18. Can memory care communities in Hawaii accommodate dietary restrictions?

Yes, memory care communities in Hawaii are often equipped to accommodate dietary restrictions. Facilities in cities like Hilo, Kailua, and Waipahu offer customized meal plans that cater to residents' dietary needs, ensuring that they receive nutritious and delicious meals that adhere to their restrictions.

19. Are there memory care options with access to cultural events in Hawaii?

Absolutely! Memory care options in Hawaii, such as those in Honolulu and Hilo, often provide access to cultural events and festivals. Residents can participate in local celebrations, arts and crafts fairs, and traditional performances, immersing themselves in the vibrant culture of the islands.

20. How are memory care communities in Hawaii designed for comfort?

Memory care communities in Hawaii prioritize comfort through thoughtful design elements such as cozy sitting areas, soothing color schemes, and soft furnishings. Facilities in cities like Maui and Kona aim to create environments that promote relaxation and a sense of security for residents.

Hawaii Memory Care Facilities provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Additional senior living options in Hawaii:

Assisted Living in Hawaii Senior Apartments in Hawaii Nursing Homes in Hawaii

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