Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's, is a serious, growing problem. In fact, 1 out of every 10 adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia. As Honolulu’s senior population continues to grow (13.79% growth between 2013 and 2018), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Honolulu, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose by a staggering 77.19% between 2013 and 2018. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 9.95%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly higher than the rest of the nation (6.53% in Honolulu vs. 6.46% in the U.S.).
To help families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of cognitive impairment find the support and care their loved ones need, we applied our unique methodology and spent dozens of hours researching senior living communities in Honolulu. In addition to an overview of the communities’ best features, this guide highlights the best memory care facilities in the city, and gives information about pricing, types of care provided, residents’ reviews, and more.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 83% of all caregivers are unpaid family members, relatives, or other friends, and nearly half of all care is for older adults with some form of dementia. Caregiving, especially when it involves Alzheimer’s or dementia, is extremely exhausting and time-consuming, leading many caregivers to feel isolated and overwhelmed.
As a loved one continues to progress through the stages of dementia and his or her cognitive abilities continue to decline, behavioral problems, safety, and general care often become more than one caregiver can handle. This is when it’s important to find extra help, and residential facilities that have specialized memory care programs are often the best solution.
In addition to providing a safe environment, memory care programs seek to delay or halt cognitive decline while providing the opportunity for a social, independent lifestyle.
To choose the best memory care facilities in Honolulu, our team of researchers started by using our unique methodology to develop a list of contenders. We further refined the list in the next phase of our process by completing hands-on research for each one of the companies that we developed. Finally, we compiled online reviews from residents and families and wrote summaries of each facility that made it through our selection process.
Overall, our team:
Dignity Senior Living at Oceanside Hawaii provides memory care services designed to help residents continue to live active, purposeful lives. Specially trained in dementia care, caregivers assist residents with dressing, grooming, bathing and medication and incontinence management. Scheduled transportation to and from doctors' appointments, errands and group outings is provided. The community's monthly entertainment calendar features educational, cultural and social activities as well as events based upon each resident's personal interests and hobbies. Seniors can enjoy meals in the communal dining room, and guest chef events and special cooking classes are held throughout the month. Small pets are welcome to live with residents here.
Returning visitors are impressed with the memory care unit. One says, "I have been here multiple times to visit someone in their memory support unit. The facility looks amazing and clean. Residents here are well taken care of."
Hale Ku'ike is a memory care senior living community located in a quiet cul-de-sac in a residential neighborhood. The community is fully secured allowing residents to safely walk around the courtyard and landscaped gardens. The single level home is easy to navigate for those in wheelchairs or with other physical impairments. The lighting fixtures are designed for older eyes, and the chairs and tables are specifically designed for ease of use by seniors. Photographs are placed throughout the community to evoke memories and provide moments of joy. A team of dedicated caregiving staff is always on hand to provide compassionate care and assistance. Planned activities are scheduled throughout the day and may include arts and crafts, tai chi, simple household tasks, gardening in the raised beds and baking special treats. Three nutritious home-cooked meals are served on a daily basis.
Visitors are impressed by the caring staff and community spirit, with one saying, "Hale Ku'ike specializes in memory care, and I think they do a good job. They have communities, open dining room, and the people are encouraged to sit and eat together."
Hale Ku'ike Bayside is a senior living community that offers a cozy and home-like atmosphere. The community is focused on assisting seniors with cognitive impairment disorders. Hale Ku'ike Bayside has a two-story design that creates small neighborhoods of residents with similar cognitive abilities. These small areas are easy for residents to navigate, and the design helps them to feel comfortable in their surroundings and eases confusion. Each floor has a separate dining room and country kitchen where residents gather to share meals and socialize. Residents have access to a secure walking path with a covered lanai, where they can sit and enjoy the views of the mountains and Kaneohe Bay. Activities offered on-site include movie nights, baking, cooking, arts and crafts and gentle fitness classes. Three delicious meals are served on a daily basis, and special diets can be accommodated.
Visitors are impressed by the amenities and caring environment with one saying, "The best care home in Hawaii! Specializes in dementia care with a family home-style environment, great daily activities, beautiful gardens and walking paths, delicious home-cooked food by professional chefs, sweet therapy dog, and awesome caregivers."
Surrounded by greenery and close to the Pali mountains, Hale Ku'ike Pali offers a peaceful environment to care for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's. With each floor having its own kitchen and living areas, residents are kept safe by minimizing movement up and down the stairs. Additionally enclosed courtyards provide fresh air and sunlight while preventing wandering. Residents have the opportunity to participate in daily activities including music therapy, pet therapy and tai chi. Home activities such as cooking and folding laundry also are offered so that residents still feel independent. As part of therapy and to help residents retain memories, Hale Ku'ike Pali runs Chit-Chat meets, where residents can talk about historical events, their lives and experiences and seasonal topics. The community also offers brain games in order to help strengthen cognitive ability.
Residents and families are thankful for the caring staff, and one wrote, "The best care home in Hawaii! Specializes in dementia care with a family home style environment, great daily activities, beautiful gardens and walking paths, delicious home cooked food by professional chefs, sweet therapy dog, and awesome caregivers."
With views of the ocean and the mountains of Honolulu, Hale O Meleana provides a tranquil retreat for residents. This community has memory care services in addition to independent living, assisted living and respite care. The apartment suites each have their own private, accessible bathrooms and emergency call technology built-in. The community offers many activities for its residents, from exercise classes to an arts and crafts room. It also provides tasty meals three times a day, with snacks available as well. An on-site chef ensures that dietary needs are met while residents dine restaurant-style in an elegant dining room.
The attentive, round-the-clock care provided at Hale O Meleana stands out to visitors. This community has staff on hand at all times to attend to the activities of daily living residents may need. Staff is trained in helping those with memory concerns so residents stay centered and safe. Visitors often note the positive atmosphere and friendly attitude of the staff when they visit.
Kalakaua Gardens in Honolulu focuses on the Hawaiian philosophy <em>ohana </em>of "family" and "togetherness," working hard to develop relationships with residents who have Alzheimer's, dementia or any other condition resulting in memory loss. All residents' care routines are personalized based on their individual needs. Although the entire facility has comfortable furniture, residents are welcome to bring their own furnishings into Kalakaua Gardens to feel the comforts of home even more. A well-trained staff works with residents during daily brain-boosting activities such as exercise, social gatherings and help with their personal reminiscence. An outdoor garden with lush, vibrant vegetation is available for all to enjoy to get their daily dose of fresh air. Three healthy meals that promote whole brain health are prepared in-house daily by chefs and eaten in the spacious, warm community dining room. Around-the-clock assistance for bathing, grooming, dressing and medication is always available as is an on-site pharmacy.
Residents enjoy the tasty food and the friendly staff. One says, "Stayed there a month. Everything was great: food, workers, etc. I would rate them five in everything. If I had to go back I would pick them as my first choice."
The Plaza Assisted Living at Kaneohe is conveniently located close to shopping centers, restaurants and medical facilities. The Hali'A Memory Care neighborhood is located in a secure section of the community for the safety of residents. A team of highly trained caregivers is available 24/7 to provide compassionate assistance and care. The community uses the Best Friend Dementia care program and all staff members in the memory care unit are certified by the Best Friend program. This approach is based on personalized care using details from each resident's life story. Staff members create activities based on the work history, stories and hobbies of each individual resident. Seniors have safe access to a professionally staffed fitness center, library and a landscaped garden area. Three delicious restaurant-style meals are served on a daily basis and special diets can be accommodated.
Family members are impressed by the range of activities offered in the memory care unit such as musical entertainment, baking, dancing, gentle fitness classes and arts and crafts. Visitors note the delicious food options available and like the fact that they can join their friends or family members in the community for meals.
At The Plaza at Moanalua, the staff strives to provide residents with a homelike environment where their personal care needs are met in a supportive and engaging environment. With staff available 24 hours a day, residents can always get assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing or dressing help. Computer stations are set throughout the community so residents can stay connected, and it has a full-service salon on-site. The Hali'a memory care program seeks to honor the life story of residents living with dementia. Each one is paired with dementia-certified care partners known as Best Friends. Each Best Friend uses the residents' life story to help them feel comfortable. These caretakers will help residents by maintaining daily rituals, reminiscing with residents and providing activities tailored to the interests and abilities of each individual.
The good food and many activities stand out to visitors at this community. One family member of a resident said, "I have eaten the food there, and it is awesome. It is restaurant-style. The dining room area is beautiful. They also have activities galore. They have field trips, movie nights, and tailgates in the theater room."
The Plaza Assisted Living at Pearl City offers a spectacular view of historic Pearl Harbor and is steps away from the Pearl Highlands Shopping Center. The Hali'a Memory Care neighborhood is located in a secure building for the safety of residents. A team of dedicated assistants is always on hand to provide compassionate care as required. The community uses the Best Friend dementia care program to assist seniors with cognitive impairment disorders and all staff in the community are certified by the Best Friends program. The staff learn details of each resident's life story from family members and talking to the residents. This system enables staff members to create personalized activities, reminisce with the seniors and recognize past accomplishments. The on-site beauty salon and barbershop ensures that residents always look their best. Housekeeping and laundry services are provided.
Visitors praise the caring staff and range of amenities, with one reviewer saying, "The staff was friendly. They had a library and a place outside where residents could go, sit down and enjoy the sun. It was nice and clean. They had an activity room. They had exercise and therapy. ... They had a schedule of activities also."
The Plaza at Waikiki is a resort-style senior living community with a range of activities and luxury amenities. The Hali'A memory care unit is located in a secure building, and all doors are constantly monitored. Residents have access to a walled spacious garden area where they can safely go for a walk or relax with friends. The community uses the Best Friends approach to working with seniors with dementia or other cognitive impairment disorders. Each resident is assigned a best friend or carer who spends time learning the resident's life story so that they can provide a personalized level of care. Tasks that the Best Friend performs involve recognizing and highlighting past accomplishments, easing agitation and confusion, setting up personalized activities and keeping up with daily rituals. A team of additional caregivers is always on hand to provide compassionate assistance.
Family members praise the excellent staff with one saying, "Have an elderly relative on the memory care floor and can't say enough good things about the facility, staff, nurses and aides. They are fantastic. The unit is spotless, food just fine, and they go out of their way to accommodate my family's needs and requests."
Founded in January 2004 and located in Honolulu, The Plaza at Punchbowl is a community that provides Hali'a memory care, short-term respite, independent living and assisted living. The community has a secured Hali'a memory care neighborhood, and there's an activity calendar specifically for Hali'a memory care, which includes fun activities such as scenic bus rides, outdoor relaxation and exercise. Residents of The Plaza at Punchbowl have access to amenities such as housekeeping and scheduled transportation to local businesses. Outside of their apartments, residents can socialize in the library, game room, bistro, or media room, at the fitness center or salon, or they can try one of the other available activities. A nursing team is available day and night, and there are call systems in each residence.
Family members enjoy that there are so many activities for their loved ones to do at The Plaza at Punchbowl. In one review, a relative stated, "They play games, and they exercise too. They have everything. They have a hairdresser that comes once a week, they take the residents out on joy rides, and they have doctors and dentists available. The staff is really excellent. My mom loves the food, and it was better than where she was before.”