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Care in Hawaii:

Independent and Assisted Living

Light to Moderate Assistance

"Retirement Community"

Also known as


​For people who:

  • Can mostly function independently and need infrequent assistance.

  • Enjoy recreation and social interaction among many peers.

Potential Downsides

Potential Downsides:

  • Cost can be prohibitive for 24/7 care.

  • Some residents feel lost in the crowd and/or forced out.

  • Some facilities feel like a revolving door.

Independent Living – is an engaging lodging arrangement that provides meals and housekeeping services for seniors who are still able and independent, but wish not to worry about those daily chores. Independent living residents enjoy their own apartments, and they can focus on activities and socializing with the other residents. At some independent living facilities, it is common to have new activities start every hour in the day, and many facilities also organize outings and shopping excursions. The downside to independent living is that there are no care services provided, and to receive care, a resident must pay privately atop the facility fees, or move to the Assisted Living area or wing (if available).

Assisted Living – is very similar to Independent Living (and often within the same building), with the exception that basic care services such as medication management, showers, and response to health emergencies are provided to the residents. With such services, residents can still maintain their independence without having to keep track of which medication to take when, or worry about safely doing tasks like showering and whether or not there will be help available in case of an emergency. But there are limitations to the care that assisted living facilities are licensed to give, and once a resident needs around-the-clock supervision or assistance beyond what is normally provided, then he/she will be required to hire a private caregiver atop the typical fees.

Another unexpected downside is that independent living areas and assisted living areas are legally required to be separated, so a person transferring into assisted living may lose his or her connection to friends at the independent living side. Ultimately, if a person does not value, or no longer makes use of, the activity programming and the opportunity to socialize, then he or she is not benefiting from the best aspects about Independent and Assisted Living.

For a list of Independent and Assisted Living Facilities in Hawaii, please visit the Office of Health Care Assurance State Licensing Section website.

** The above statements are opinions that reflect years of research conducted by Caring Manoa. The statements are for informational purposes only and are in no way meant to be used for medical, legal, or case management purposes.

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