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Hawaii is often listed near the top of the bracket when it comes to many quality of life measures, but how does the picture change when considering only the older adult population? Does Hawaii’s reputation hold up? (Spoiler alert: Pretty much.)
About 37 percent of Hawaii’s residents are 50 and older, or just over a half-million people. While this is only slightly higher than the national rate of older adults (35.3 percent), in most other ways, Hawaii is exceptional when it comes to seniors. One exception is in the median age, which in Hawaii is 39.3, less than a year higher than the U.S. median age of 38.5.
Hawaii is in first place for life expectancy (81.3), the percentage of 60-and-older residents who are people of color (75.7) and median income for senior-led households ($62,572). Notably, the nation-leading diversity rate for seniors is approaching triple the equivalent national figure. And while it’s not a No. 1 spot, Hawaii also is among the leaders in the percentage of 55-and-up adults who are in the workforce, meaning that for those seniors who still desire to work (or who still need to), opportunities are likely to be plentiful.
*Includes Black, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or individuals of one or more other races, and Hispanic/Latinx people of any race.
Senior Living Costs in Hawaii
The cost of living is much higher than average in Hawaii. It has a housing index of 186.50. One bedroom apartments average $1,381 a month here, while the national average is $825. Two bedroom apartments go for an average of $1,795 per month (vs. $1,027 national average).
Let's take a look at some of the monthly costs of living in Hawaii for seniors. The average home health care costs are approximately $4,814 a month. Home health care services allow seniors to live in their own homes, while service aides help to clean the house and run everyday errands.
Seniors requiring adult day care can expect to pay roughly $1,517 per month to stay at a supervised facility in Hawaii. There, they engage in social activities while their caregivers are busy. Since adult day care does not include around the clock care, it's suitable for seniors who are mostly independent and healthy.
Assisted living facilities are available to seniors at an average monthly cost of $4,250. This fee covers personal care and health services in a space with experienced staff members.
If you are an elder requiring 24/7 supervision and care, nursing homes are available throughout Hawaii, but at very steep costs. Semi-private rooms go for an average of $11,437 a month, while a private room is about $13,216 a month. Nursing homes provide residents with medication, housing, supervision, skilled nursing care, and therapies and rehabilitation.
Hawaii's Senior Living Options
Retirees in Hawaii can opt for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care depending on individual needs. Check out each option below and determine which one suits your lifestyle best.
While on the pricey side, Hawaii has over 20 independent living facilities for seniors to choose from. This form of living is best for healthy & active seniors who don't require 24/7 nursing care. The average costs of independent living facilities in Hawaii range from $1,048 to $4,950 a month. Active senior apartments typically include an array of amenities like workout rooms, walking trails, pools and jacuzzis, and more for residents to use.
Assisted living facilities are available throughout Hawaii to provide seniors with attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities to help them feel at home. Amenities vary from one place to another, but residents can expect to get assistance with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour staffing to ensure safety.
The average cost of assisted living facilities in the state range from $1,906 to $9,000 a month depending on a variety of factors like location. It's most expensive to stay at an assisted living facility in the Honolulu metropolitan area. The lowest assisted living facility costs are found in the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina area.
Hawaiian memory care facilities are dedicated to providing comfortable, stress-free living for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer's, and other memory forming issues. They are designed to prevent seniors from wandering out and getting lost, leading to frustration and emotional breakdowns. Specially trained staff aid to the unique challenges and needs that seniors with memory loss face every day.
There are over 20 memory care facilities in Hawaii, with a wide range of costs from as low as $2,763 a month to $5,075 up to $13,050 a month. The national average is $5,075, making some of the facilities in Hawaii among the costliest memory care facilities in the country.
Beautiful island scenery would be quite the inspiring backdrop to senior living. Of course, the serene island life comes at a cost. There are over 90 senior living providers in the state, and generally cost more than the rest of the nation.
Taking in meals and activities at an adult daycare in the lushness of Hawaii would be amazing. Health levels are monitored, and if a senior were to fall or face any sickness, they'll receive aid immediately. Therapeutic activities involving art and senior-friendly exercise would help with mental and physical health. Seniors have 21 adult daycare centers to choose from in Hawaii, at an average annual cost of $19,175.
In terms of hospice care, seniors will find 23 facilities to choose from in Hawaii. Hospice care in Hawaii will provide specialized care for seniors with terminal illness. Again, hospice care would be unique in this state due to the rich culture of the state, with a strong focus on meditative and therapeutic exercises in self-awareness and acceptance. Hand casting, healing touch, and aromatherapy are among some of the complementary therapies to be found at Hawaiian hospices. Traditional methods of medication and established hospice care practices are also routinely done here.
Respite care is available in Hawaii as well, providing temporary relief to family members and unpaid caregivers. There are 36 respite care facilities to choose from in Hawaii, and seniors can stay for as many days, months, or years as needed. Assistance with personal hygiene, medications, and so on are all taken care of at a respite care facility. It is a bit more costly in Hawaii, with the annual cost coming out to $121,545 which is a bit higher than the national average.
U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 1-Year Estimates Subject Tables (2010, 2017 and 2018)
Annual rental cost, Zillow Rent Index, States
Job openings, pulled from Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com in April 2020
Employment and wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019 publication
Household income and population figures, U.S. Census Bureau, most recent publications on all topics