Approximately one in ten Americans aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s and other progressive-degenerative diseases that cause memory loss, and the total number of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is expected to rise from 5 million in 2020 to 13.8 million by 2050. In Hawaii, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death, and close to 30,000 Hawaiians now live with memory loss.

While there’s currently no cure for this devastating disease, there are a number of long-term treatment options available to help slow the progression of dementia symptoms and provide relief to family caregivers.

Memory care can either be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or, more often, it’s provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide covers the cost of memory care in Hawaii, as well as financial aid programs that can help seniors pay for their care costs. There are also links to free and low-cost memory care resources in the state, an overview of Hawaii’s long-term care regulations, and answers to the most-frequently asked questions about residential memory care in Hawaii.

The Cost of Memory Care in Hawaii

The cost of residential memory care falls between assisted living and nursing home costs and is generally anywhere from 20-30% more than assisted living costs. To determine the cost of residential memory care services, we’ve added 25% to the assisted living costs detailed in Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey. Based on these figures, residential memory care services cost an average of $5,469 per month in Hawaii, which is $405 above the national average of $5,064.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

At $5,469 per month, memory care costs in Hawaii are well above the average rates in many other states, but are below the costs in all the states along the west coast, including Oregon ($5,624), California ($5,625), Washington ($6,875) and Alaska ($7,500).

$5469

Hawaii

$5064

The United States

$5624

Oregon

$5625

California

$6875

Washington

$7500

Alaska

Cost of Other Types of Care in Hawaii

Seniors who need long-term care in Hawaii have a range of in-home and residential care options. Those who can safely remain in their own home with support can expect to pay $5,100 per month for 44 hours of weekly homemaker services, and $5,220 per month for a home health aide. Adult day care programs cost an average of $1,582 per month statewide, while assisted living averages $4,375 per month. The most expensive type of long-term care is provided in nursing homes, which cost an average of $11,650 per month for a semiprivate room.

$5469

Memory Care

$5100

In-Home Care

$5220

Home Health Care

$1582

Adult Day Care

$4375

Assisted Living Facility

$11650

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Hawaii’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Hawaii

As a small state, there’s little difference in memory care costs between Hawaii’s two major cities, Kahului and Honolulu. Costs in Kahului average $5,375 per month, while rates are slightly higher in Honolulu at $5,625. We’ve included costs for coastal cities in California and Washington for comparison purposes. Costs in California are about $560 higher per month, and in Washington, the cost significantly increases by at least $2,500 monthly.

$5375

Kahului

$5625

Honolulu

$5938

San Diego, CA

$5938

San Francisco, CA

$8125

Seattle, WA

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Hawaii

QUEST Integration Program

Hawaiians who need help covering residential memory care costs may be eligible for support through QUEST Integration, a Med-Quest program that covers long-term care costs for beneficiaries. Eligible services include adult day care, nonmedical transportation, behavioral health services and placement in a long-term residential facility. Services are covered based on medical need, and if approved, enrollees are responsible for the room and board portion of their residential care costs.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for enrollment in the Quest Integration program, Med-Quest members must be aged 65 or older or be designated as permanently disabled according to Social Security Administration guidelines. Applicants must also be assessed as needing the level of care normally provided in a nursing home setting.

How to Apply
To apply for the Quest Integration program, call 877-628-5076, visit the nearest Med-Quest Division office, or complete an application online.

VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance

The VA offers two cash benefit programs that eligible veterans, survivors and dependents can use to help cover memory care costs in Hawaii. Known as the VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and the VA Housebound Allowance, these programs provide a higher monthly benefit amount than the regular VA pension.

Who Is Eligible?
In order to qualify for either program, applicants must first meet the eligibility criteria for a regular VA pension. Applicants may receive benefits from only one of these programs at a time.

For Aid and Attendance, applicants need to live in a nursing home; be legally blind; be bedridden due to chronic illness or disability; and/or need help from a caregiver to perform one or more activities of daily living.

For Housebound, applicants must have a permanent disability rated as 100% by the VA which restricts them to their home most of the time, and that home may be a memory care facility.

How to Apply
To apply for either Aid and Attendance or Housebound, contact the nearest VA regional office or the nearest Veteran’s Services Office.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Hawaii

A number of government-funded and not-for-profit organizations throughout Hawaii provide free and low-cost memory care resources to seniors, their family members and caregivers. These resources include patient and caregiver support groups, case management and advocacy services and education about Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

ResourceContactServices Provided
Alzheimer’s Association – Aloha Chapter1-800-272-3900
The Alzheimer’s Association is a national nonprofit that works to advance research, early detection and support for those living with memory loss. The Aloha chapter hosts a number of patient and family support groups, offers caregiver training and provides referrals to local memory care services.
Area Agencies on AgingContact the county Office on Aging/Elderly Affairs DivisionHawaii’s network of Area Agencies on Aging is responsible for planning, developing and implementing programs and services to help seniors remain as independent as possible at all stages of life. AAAs contract with regional service providers to deliver case management services, congregate meal programs, transportation and adult day care programs.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program808-586-7268Hawaii’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program works to protect the civil and human rights of long-term care facility residents across the state. Certified volunteers investigate and resolve complaints and concerns related to the health, safety and rights of long-term care residents.
Hawaii Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative, UH Center on AgingEmail uhcoa@hawaii.edu

The Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative operates a Memory Care Navigator program that pairs public health nurses with individuals and families dealing with memory loss. The Initiative also hosts regular Savvy Caregiver Program workshops to deliver evidence-based training to caregivers and maintains a resource library of videos and webinars on dementia-related topics.
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii808-536-4302The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii provides free and low-cost legal advice and information to low-income seniors who need assistance with civil matters related to housing, health care, estate planning and guardianship.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Hawaii

Hawaii residential care facilities that offer memory care services are licensed, inspected and regulated by Hawaii’s Department of Health, Office of Health Care Assurance. The OHCA does not have specific memory care licensing requirements, although the requirements for assisted living facilities, adult residential care homes and expanded adult residential care homes cover facilities that offer memory care services.

Scope of CareAssisted living facilities must provide residents with ongoing health monitoring, medication management, 24/7 supervision and nonmedical care. These facilities may not admit or retain anyone who presents a danger to themselves or others due to aggressive behavior, or those who require around-the-clock skilled nursing care.
Care Plan RequirementsAll residential facilities must conduct a comprehensive assessment of each resident upon admission, and use this assessment to prepare a personalized care plan that accurately reflects the needs and preferences of the resident. This plan must be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
Medication Management RequirementsAssistance with the self-administration of medications can be provided at the direction of a registered nurse. All resident medications must be stored under lock and key, and prescriptions must be reviewed by a registered nurse or licensed physician at least once every 90 days. Prescription medications that require injection can only be administered by a registered nurse.
Staff Screening RequirementsDirect care staff and adult volunteers must complete a comprehensive background check through the Hawaii Background Check System (HI BCD). Those with prior convictions or confirmation of abuse are prohibited from working with vulnerable persons, including residents in long-term care facilities.
Staff Training RequirementsStaff must be trained in first aid and CPR, and complete comprehensive orientation prior to commencing work as a caregiver. Staff are also required to take at least six hours of in-service training each year on topics related to senior care and dementia.
Medicaid CoverageThe QUEST Integration program covers memory care costs for eligible beneficiaries who require placement in a residential memory care program, although beneficiaries are responsible for the room and board portion of their care costs.
Reporting AbuseAnyone who has concerns about the quality of care provided in a long-term care facility should file a report with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman by calling 808-586-7268. Situations that pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of any vulnerable person, including those living in a memory care community, should be reported to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Hawaii?

The average monthly cost of residential memory care in Hawaii is $5,469, although actual costs may vary between individual service providers.

Does Hawaii Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?

Yes. Hawaii residents who meet the financial criteria for Medicaid coverage and require the level of care normally provided in a skilled nursing facility may be eligible for enrollment in QUEST Integration, a Medicaid home and community-based waiver program that funds memory care services.

What Security Features Are Present in Memory Care Facilities?

60% of people with dementia wander. When combined with memory loss wandering can be exceptionally dangerous, so memory care facilities have a number of anti-wandering security features in place. These features often include security cameras, enclosed outdoor spaces and exterior doors equipped with delayed-egress devices. Some facilities also use a wireless, wearable resident tracking system that uses GPS and Wi-Fi transponders to provide caregivers with real-time updates on the location of each resident.

What Are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of daily living are basic self-care tasks, such as ambulating, eating, getting dressed and grooming, which are often referred to as ADLs. People who live with memory loss often require assistance with one or more of these activities.

What Types of Services Does Memory Care Provide?

Memory care facilities provide residents with semiprivate or private accommodation, three daily meals plus snacks, and around-the-clock supervision and support. These facilities also provide some assistance with activities of daily living, and recreational and social activities designed to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Some memory care communities offer support groups to help family caregivers connect with each other, learn coping strategies and gain insights into their loved one’s dementia.

Memory Care Facilities in Hawaii (3)