Hawaii State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
In 2011, the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter, formed a special Task Force to develop a State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). The task force included representatives from state agencies, care provider organizations, community organizations, faith communities, and research centers as well as advocates, long-term care providers, consumers, and elder law attorneys. In December 2013, the Office on Aging published Hawaii 2025: State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias.
In 2018, Governor Ige signed into law House Bill 1916, which mandated the Executive Office on Aging update and biannually report to the state legislature and the governor on the progress of the implementation of the Hawaii State Plan on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.
Hawaii 2022 Policy Priorities
Approve Funding for a Dementia Services Coordinator
In 2013, Hawaii enacted legislation that established a permanent Dementia Services Coordinator staff position within the Executive Office on Aging. While this position was created in statute, it has not been funded and the position has gone unfilled. Programs critical to individuals living with dementia and their families are administered across the state government. However, these efforts are often siloed and lack coordination. As a result, Hawaii lacks a coordinated statewide response to Alzheimer’s. It is critical that Hawaii’s lawmakers approve funding in the state budget to support the established Dementia Services Coordinator position. When filled, this position will coordinate programs and services, ensure implementation and updates to the Alzheimer’s State Plan, and improve data collection and utilization. The Alzheimer’s Association calls on the governor and legislature to approve funding for this position.
Support Kupuna and their Caregivers — HB 2145/SB 3113
Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis in Hawaii. Nearly 30,000 Hawaiians are living with Alzheimer's and 51,000 more are supporting them as unpaid caregivers. Family caregivers in Hawaii provided 83 million hours of unpaid care in 2021, a value of more than $1.6 million. The Kupuna Caregivers Program grants assistance for caregivers who work 30 hours or more a week and the Kupuna Care Program provides essential non-medical home care assistance for seniors living in Hawaii. The Alzheimer’s Association urges state lawmakers to support H.B. 2145 / S.B. 3113 to merge the Kupuna Caregivers Program with the Kupuna Care Program to allow individuals living with dementia and their families to more easily access critical support.
Strengthen Dementia Training Standards for First Responders
First responders are critical to the health and safety of people living with Alzheimer’s. They frequently interact with individuals who have dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe instances of abuse and neglect. Without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with people with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on legislators to support legislation in Hawaii that will require training for emergency medical services workers to educate these professionals on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
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State Affairs Contact: Ron Shimabuku
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Hawaii
Hawaiians are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
increase in Alzheimer’s deaths since 2000
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Hawaii needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Hawaii
The following resources developed by AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you learn more about the issues impacting people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, how Hawaii policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.