Home Sweet Home, Maybe - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

September 3, 2008

Home Sweet Home, Maybe

According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, via a couple of visiting officials from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Hawaii ranks first in the nation in longevity and last for nursing home beds.  While that sounds a bit ominous- like what are we to do about housing and care for a fragile, aging population that lives longer- there is apparently some good news in that Hawaii is far ahead of the national curve in finding more home-based and community-based solutions to the nursing home situation.

And these solutions help to ease the strain of moving the elderly into nursing care, with its ever-rising costs.  An evolution, if not revolution, is taking place with smaller units, eco-friendly care homes, foster care, and changes to medicaid and other insurance systems.  The need in Hawaii will only increase as our population ages, housing and land costs remain far above the national norm, and the stress grows on baby boomers and their offspring to care for our elders in an island environment.

We should all pay attention to opportunities and changes which will allow for those in their most golden of years to live out their lives with respect and some sense of comfort in knowing the choices available.  Hopefully, we are all going to get there some day, and that is not the time to have to start worrying about limited options and outrageously-priced opportunities.  Think about it...

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