With the highest life expectancy in the nation, a rapidly increasing number of seniors, and limited capacity in residential care and nursing homes, the concept of aging in place is particularly relevant in Hawaii. Keeping Hawaii’s seniors (“kupana”) happy and healthy in their homes and communities was the focus of a recent report by the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) titled Caring for our Kupana: Building an Aging in Place Movement in Hawaii.
The report highlights the increasingly strained government funding for elder care in the United States and the significant cost savings associated with preventive and supportive aging-in-place services versus the more reactive model of responding to advanced health needs—a model that often results in nursing home placement. To further illustrate the point, the report provides the example of installing hand and safety rails in a senior’s bathroom rather than waiting for a dangerous fall that would likely result in emergency room placement. Because of preventive measures like this, costs are significantly reduced while seniors’ lives are dramatically improved.
So how can seniors in Hawaii age in place effectively? By working with several organizations through the state of Hawaii that offer “case management, home companionship, adult day health, adult day care, in-home cleaning services, senior nutrition programs, transportation, and several other aging-in-place programs” and the Hawaii Community Foundation, the NFF identified barriers to address, highlighted innovations, and made recommendations for building an aging-in-place movement in Hawaii.
To review the barriers, innovations, and recommendations and learn more about building an aging-in-place movement in Hawaii, review the full report here.