Senior Housing Options

Many adults find the responsibility of owning a home difficult to manage as they get older. They want to remain living in their community, but in an environment that can support their individual needs and abilities. Looking for housing options for you, an aging parent, relative, or friend? Do some research first to determine what kind of assistance or living arrangement you need; what your health insurance might cover; and what you can afford. We offer a variety of resources for seniors through KupunaWiki, get in touch with us today if you’d like more information or to sign up for our monthly KupunaWiki enewsletter.

Senior housing is categorized by the level of care available to residents. At one end of the spectrum, there are communities that offer little or no care; at the other, facilities that provide continuous care. Between those extremes are a wide range of housing choices that can meet changing needs.

Here are some types of housing options:

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A CCRC can provide three or four levels of care on the same location. These include independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care. Rather than having to move to different location for each level of care, CCRC’s allows you to move through these levels of care within the same location. With CCRC’s, you and your family know what quality of care and setting to expect in the future. As a CCRC resident, you have the security knowing future health care needs will be addressed on the same campus. CCRC’s offers a wide variety of services from live entertainment and exercise programs to salon and barber services. Arcadia and Kahala Nui are Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

Independent Living

Senior independent living communities cater to seniors who are very independent with few medical problems. Residents live in fully equipped private apartments. A variety of apartment sizes are available from studios to large two bedrooms. Fine dining services are offered with custom-designed meal packages. Often, residents can choose to pay for a specified number of meals per day. Frequently, there are numerous social outings and events to choose from for entertainment.

Many independent living communities cannot legally provide any routine care to their residents. Therefore, some may partner with a home care agency that can provide personal care services for their residents. Hawaii Kai Retirement Center is an independent living community center.

Assisted Living

An assisted living community essentially provides independent living with added support in one or more of the activities of daily living. Some locations of assisted living facilities are The Plaza with locations all over the island of Oahu and Oceanside Hawaii Assisted Living servicing the North Shore area.

Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing care provides nursing care, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It can be needed for a short-term stay after a surgery or long term in case of debilitating illness. Hale Nani and Oahu Care are examples of Skilled Nursing Facilities.


Hospice care can begin when a doctor has determined that someone is near death or is terminally ill with six months or less to live. A hospice team brings care to the patient either at home or in a senior living community. Hospice support can work alongside with assisted living and skilled nursing communities. Their focus is on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. Some hospice facilities are Nu‘uanu Hale, St. Francis Healthcare, and Hospice Hawaii.

With the many different senior housing options available, it is important to plan for these life-changing events ahead of time so that the burden to make decisions are not placed on the children. Most seniors with Medicaid and Medicare will qualify for these housing options. It is best to discuss and determine what option is best for you or your family. 

About the Author

Andrew Leong was born and rasied on the island of Oahu. He is a graduate from the Shidler College of Business at UH Manoa with a degree in Marketing. Prior to real estate, Andrew worked in hospitality management giving him great experience as a dedicated service professional. He strongly believes that being a realtor is more than just helping clients buy or sell a home, as a consultant he is there to guide clients to help make the best choices when it comes to the most important purchase of their lives. It’s not about the dollar but building relationships and doing what’s best for his clients. 

With the abundance of information available to clients today through multiple different media channels, Andrew’s superior market knowledge, negotiating skills and strong community relationships have helped give his clients that competetive edge for over 10 years.