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Senior Living & Retirement Guide

Innovative options, solutions, services and advice offered by Hawaii’s top senior care professionals offering tips on planning, premium facilities and transport.

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Residential Needs and Health

Lucky we live Hawaii. Not only for the picturesque landscapes, but also for the wonderful culture that embraces the people who live and visit here. Our state provides an abundance of possibilities when it comes to senior living.

“Hawaii’s seniors should be aware of long-term care options and plan ahead for their care in the event the need arises,” says Shelley Wilson, president and CEO of Wilson Care Group.

Wilson Care Group comprises Wilson Homecare, Hawaii’s largest private-duty home healthcare agency, and Wilson Senior Living, an adult residential care home. “We want seniors to know that they have choices for quality homecare or care-home services,” she says. “Savvy kupuna will have a back-up plan in case Medicare or Medicaid resources are not able to accommodate their needs.”

Having a deep understanding of seniors’ needs, Wilson and her team recognize that planning for seniors includes a deep sensitivity. “Providing a safe, nurturing environment is key, but just as important is understanding that no one wants to lose control over their lives,” Wilson says. “Life here at Wilson Senior Living has variety and diversity, and each neighbor plays a role in the day-to-day experience.”

Shelley Wilson
President & C.E.O, Wilson Care Group

Before the time comes to make these key decisions, experts advise anticipating needs and learning about the numerous options that are available. This also includes making preparations for time spent while the planning occurs. “We get a list of our clients’ doctors, so that if there is an emergency while we are meeting, we know what to do,” says Dan Ihara, co-founder of Senior Move Managers. Ihara and his wife, Julie, specialize in helping seniors transition from one living situation to the next. While this often includes moving to a new home, it also sometimes means simply de-cluttering and reorganizing an existing one. “The biggest part of that transition is downsizing their personal belongings,” Ihara says. His team has developed a Sell, Offer, Retain, Toss (SORT) practice to resolve this. In the end, no matter if the decision is to stay at home or move to a new one, the goal is always the same: Provide the hope, confidence and assistance that leads seniors to a safe, comfortable environment in which they can thrive.


To ensure a comfortable life in the years to come, financial planning is essential. “At least 60 percent of us will need some form of long-term care at some point in our lives,” says Scott Makuakane, elder care attorney with the law firm of Est8Planning Counsel LLLC. “Seniors in Hawaii need to plan ahead for the possibility of needing nursing home care and needing someone to help them with financial decisions.”

Makuakane specializes in helping clients create strategic plans for senior living. “Est8Planning Counsel helps clients create things like trusts, durable powers of attorney and advance health-care directives, so they can be sure that their hand-picked decision makers will have the ability to help them if and when the time comes,” he says. “We also help clients qualify for governmental benefits that may help them make ends meet and pay for care.”

With growing numbers of seniors making up that population, it is a bit surprising to learn that most of them feel insecure about whether their savings will last. “Sixty-three percent of Baby Boomers lack full confidence that they will have enough money to cover their medical expenses during retirement,” says Debra Bennett, Field Vice President at Ameriprise Financial. “Forty-two percent of consumers fear that they might outlive their savings, and 57 percent of pre-retirees have not created a concrete retirement plan.”

To help put clients at ease, Ameriprise Financial uses a straightforward, easy-to-understand approach based on four basic principles of retirement: covering essentials, ensuring lifestyle, preparing for the unexpected and leaving a legacy.

“Clients want to feel confident about retirement, and we are committed to client eductation,” Bennett says. In order to achieve this, Ameriprise regularly holds review meetings and seminars on a wide range of topics such as social security planning and considerations during job transitions.

But perhaps the most important part of the Ameriprise service comes at the hands of its advisors.

“They get to know the client and the client’s family extremely well. We aren’t just about our investments. We want to know your situation, your family history, your goals and your dreams,” Bennett says. “Then we work with you to try to achieve those goals. The financial planner becomes a true partner with the client.”

These advisors lie at the heart of the Ameriprise mission, which is to remain committed to holistic financial planning and advice. To be truly comprehensive, advisors must cater plans to each client’s individual needs.

“We are client-first,” Bennett says. “We take everything into consideration to try to help our clients achieve the best outcomes regarding their finances for the rest of their lives.” 

As we prepare for the years to come and the inevitable growth of the senior population, we must be proactive and educate ourselves on the abundance of options available to us. You can start here, where Hawaii’s leading senior living providers let us in on how the changing trends affect their various sectors and how they adapt to this change.

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