Seniors in Hawaii are considered to have low income if their annual revenue ranges between $47,950 to $67,700, according to limits by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments. Seniors with a household size of one receiving less than $16,770 per year are considered in poverty. In comparison, the median per capita income in Hawaii is $39,045, according to the 2021 U.S. Census, and 11.2% of the population in Hawaii is considered in poverty.

Low-income seniors often struggle to meet their needs, from paying for housing to getting enough healthy food to eat and even struggling to afford necessary medical care or personal assistance. Several programs exist to help mitigate the enormous costs that come along with aging and provide access to appropriate levels of long-term care.

What is the Cost of Long-Term Care in Hawaii?

The cost of long-term care in Hawaii will depend on the type of care needed. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, receiving homemaker services, such as cleaning and cooking assistance, costs an average of $5,720 per month in Hawaii with 44 hours per week of care provided, sharing the same cost as a home health aide for the same number of hours. The median price for an assisted living facility in Hawaii is $5,375 per month, and in a nursing home facility, a semiprivate room costs an average of $12,501 per month.

In contrast, the national monthly median costs are significantly cheaper for most care provided. Based on 44 hours of services per week, the national monthly median cost of homemaker services is just $4,957, $763 per month cheaper. The national median cost for a home health aide is $5,148, and the median cost for assisted living is $4,500. The national average for a semiprivate nursing home room is significantly cheaper than in Hawaii, at just $7,908 compared to Hawaii’s $12,501, making Hawaii’s semiprivate nursing home room $4,593 per month more expensive, on average, than the national median cost. 

How Can Seniors Receive Help Affording Long-Term Care in Hawaii?

Low-income seniors struggling to afford long-term care or home health care in Hawaii may qualify for assistance with Medicaid or the Kupuna Caregivers program. Medicaid will cover long-term health care for individuals with little or no assets.

The Kupuna Caregivers Program allows family members who take on unpaid caregiving roles for seniors to receive additional financial support of up to $70 per day to cover the costs of long-term care. The senior must be at least 60 years of age, living at home and must require assistance with at least two activities of daily living, independent activities of daily living, one of each, or require significant supervision. Likewise, they must not qualify for any other home and community-based programs for assistance.