There are a lot of retirees in Hawaii – as you might imagine. Hawaii is pretty well prepared to take care of those that reach the age where they need special care – but, it’s expensive. I know Hawaii residents that are paying $3,500 per month for care of their two parents in their home. Sure they need a lot of special services, but still… could you afford that?

One of the big issues is that it’s hard enough to take care of yourself in Hawaii on what you make. Add to that your family, kids, when you have them… Then, if your parents happen to be of the age where they too need care – it’s too much for many local families… Can you imagine $3.5K per month for your parents, $2,500 for your mortgage payment, $1,200 for two kids in a decent school, plus food, car, insurance, and having fun? Your after tax income would have to be in the neighborhood of $10 Grand to be able to do this. A married couple would have to make more than $15,000 per month between them.

Usually it just doesn’t add up and adults cannot afford to spend the money for great care for their parents. What a sad state of affairs – right?

The best website for information on Aging and Disabilities in Hawaii that I could find is:

Below is some information from there, and other public websites.

The Executive Office on Aging (EOA)

The Executive Office on Aging (EOA) has a system of aging and caregiver support services in the State of Hawaii, as authorized by federal and state laws.

The federal Older Americans Act establishes an Aging Network and provides federal funding for elderly support services, nutrition services, preventive health services, elder rights protection, and family caregiver support services. Chapter 349 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes establishes the Executive Office on Aging as the focal point for all matters relating to older adults’ needs and the coordination and development of caregiver support services within the State of Hawaii.

To learn about EOA’s efforts to develop comprehensive and coordinated systems to serve older adults and family caregivers in the State of Hawaii, please read the Hawaii State Plan on Aging: 2008-2011.

Programs and Services

Healthy Aging Partnership

A statewide public-private partnership committed to improving the health and well-being of residents. The partnership offers evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs: the Enhanced Fitness (EF) Program on Kauai and the Ke Ola Pono Disease Self-Management Programs-Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP), Arthritis Self-Management (ASMP) and Diabetes Self-Management (DSMP). Ke Ola Pono classes are open to adults 18 and older.

For information on accessing these services in your local area, please contact your county office on aging:

Honolulu: (808) 768-7705

Hawaii: (808) 961-8600

Maui/Molokai/Lanai: (808) 270-7774

Kauai: (808) 241-4470

Senior Medicare Patrol Hawaii (SMP Hawaii)

A volunteer-based program to ensure Medicare is not billed for health care services, medical supplies, and equipment not received.   If you suspect fraud or errors when reviewing your Medicare statement, please contact SMP Hawaii at 586-7281 on Oahu and toll-free at 1-800-296-9422 from the neighbor islands.

Hawaii’s Fraud Prevention & Resource Guide   is designed to help residents protect themselves against fraud.

Sage PLUS Program

This program provides free health insurance information, education, counseling, and a referral service for people with Medicare. Volunteers are trained and certified to assist members and their families with questions about Medicare benefits, Medicare Advantage Program, Long-Term Care financing, and Medicare Part D – the prescription drug benefit. For assistance, please contact Sage PLUS at 586-7299 on Oahu and toll-free at 1-888-875-9229 or 1-866-810-4379 (TTY).

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)

This program provides information, outreach, and advocacy for residents of long-term care facilities.   If you have a problem, complaint, or question regarding services provided at a long-term care facility, please call the LTC Ombudsman at 586-7268(Oahu).

To ensure that all long-term care residents are aware of the services provided by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, volunteers are trained and certified by the LTC Ombudsman Volunteer Program to regularly visit licensed LTC settings. To become a certified volunteer, please complete the LTCOP Volunteer Application and mail it to the LTCO Volunteer Coordinator at Executive Office on Aging, 250 South Hotel Street, #406, Honolulu, HI 96813.

In-Home and Community-Based Services

Services are available to assist older adults in remaining independent and active. Types of services provided: adult day care, assisted transportation, attendant care, case management, chore services, congregate meals, home delivered meals, homemaker/housekeeper, information and assistance, legal assistance, nutrition education, personal care, and transportation.

Family Caregiver Support Program

Support services are available to family caregivers such as: information, assistance, individual counseling, support groups and training, respite, and supplemental services.

Hawaii Department on Aging and Elder Services

Older Americans Act

In 1973, an amendment to the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) required states to separate their aging planning and service areas and to designate Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to implement programs and services for older Americans at the local level. The local Area Agencies on Aging offices serve certain counties and implement the elder service programs within their geographic boundaries. The quickest way to find out what services a senior may qualify for and what senior programs are available is to contact the Area Agency on Aging office serving the county where the senior lives. A few states have websites which provide information for the entire state and other states provide a county lookup on their website to find the correct area office to contact for senior services.

What State Senior Services are Provided?

Area Agencies on Aging provide assistance with senior benefit programs, social security, Medicare, eligibility for low-income senior programs including home and community services (some states will provide part-time care giving in the home through their home and community services program), along with:

  • Transportation
  • Home-delivered Meals
  • Prescription Drug Programs
  • Healthy Aging Programs
  • Case Management
  • Caregiver Training
  • Senior Activities
  • Support Groups
  • Volunteering

What services are offered by the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)?

SHIP is a free counseling service for seniors and pre-retirees and is part of a federal network of State Health Insurance Assistance programs located in every state. SHIP counselors answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid along with prescription coverage and low-income assistance. You local Area Agency on Aging will have information on SHIP and many provide SHIP counselors to give group presentations.

Find Your Local Area Agency on Aging Office:

State Senior Services Help Line: 808-586-0100

State Senior Services Email Contact:

Elder Abuse Hotline: 808-832-5115

If you are living on the mainland and are considering moving to Hawaii – your parents are going to be one concern you might not give adequate thought, before going. Take a realistic look at where your parents might be in five, ten years and start planning for taking care of them. Even my mother, who has worked for the U.S. Post Office for over 20 years, may lose some of or all of her retirement benefits. It’s a huge fiasco at the moment. If it can happen to a government worker – it can happen to you, no matter the name of the company you retired from.

Best of luck and aloha to you…

Peter Kay

[Photo credit – member, Madmarv00 – aka, Kyle Nishioka (]