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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:40 p.m., Monday, March 6, 2006

Survey cites long-term care concerns

Advertiser Staff

Hawai'i residents are increasingly concerned about their ability to pay for long-term care services, according to the results of a survey released today by AARP Hawaii.

The survey, conducted during the last week of February, shows that 75 percent of Hawai'i residents aren't confident that they can afford the cost of nursing home care services for even one year. The average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home in Hawai'i is about $239 a day — and $262 a day for a private room, according to insurance estimates.

Given the rising cost of nursing home care, 80 percent said it was important to have long-term care services that would help them or a family member stay at home as long as possible. Should they become ill or disabled, over eight in ten people in Hawai'i said they would prefer to receive care in their home — provided by family, friends, or home-care professionals.

"We're seeing a growing realization in Hawai'i today that the costs associated with our rapidly aging population are going to have to be met — by individuals, families and our society as a whole," said AARP Hawaii State Director Barbara Kim Stanton. "How we care for our kupuna as the number of island residents over the age of 60 grows is one of the most important issues of our time," she said.

Hawai'i's aging population and the longevity of its people compared to other states combine to make long-term care a challenging social issue. Census data show that while individuals over the age of 60 represented 17 percent of Hawai'i's total population in 2000—that will climb to 25 percent by 2020. Hawai'i residents outlive people in other states by an average of four years, with residents over 75 and 85 among the fastest growing segments of our population.

Aloha Airlines adds Orange County-Sacramento flight

Aloha Airlines, in its first expansion since emerging from bankruptcy last month, will begin a new Orange County to Sacramento service on May 1.

Aloha said today that the new service will include six weekly round-trips, with early morning departures from Orange County's John Wayne Airport and night-time return trips from Sacramento.

The new flight will be an add-on to Aloha's existing Maui to Sacramento service. Aloha, which began flying to the Mainland from in 2000, operates flights from Hawai'i to Sacramento, Orange County, Oakland and San Diego.