Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Hawaii. The impact of Alzheimer’s is projected to rise, and the most recent data show:

  • 29,000 people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in Hawaii.
  • 8.5% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
  • 52,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in Hawaii.
  • 83 million hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • $1.7 billion is the value of the unpaid care.
  • $240 million is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.

These numbers show that a public health approach is necessary to lessen the burden and enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families.

Learn more about Hawaii: Alzheimer’s Statistics, Cognitive Decline, Dementia Caregiving

Public health spotlight

A former Hawaii Director of Health sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to physicians throughout the state encouraging early detection and diagnosis of dementia including through the use of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit benefit. The letter recommended training and informational resources.

Explore public health action against Alzheimer’s

Learn more about areas essential to addressing Alzheimer's from a public health perspective.

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In September 2020, the Hawaii Department of Health received a Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Program Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

State 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 David Ige signed into law House Bill 1916, which mandates that the Executive Office on Aging update and bi-annually 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. In 2021, Governor Ige signed a budget funding an Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Services Coordinator within the Executive Office on Aging and Act 115 permits the employers of first responder personnel to obtain dementia training for their employees.

Resources for action

State and local public health agencies around the country are taking action against Alzheimer’s by implementing the Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map. Public health practitioners can learn by example and find resources to help guide their response below.  
 

Hawaii Implementation
State:
Issue:

Hawaii State Department of Health Through the Hawaii Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (HADI) — a collaboration of state agency and community partners — developed a memory care navigator program to connect the public to long-term care resources
Hawaii State Department of Health Through the Hawaii Alzheimer's Disease Initiative (HADI) — a collaboration of state agency and community partners — established a dementia speakers bureau to provide education to caregivers and the community
Department of Health Adapted existing print materials that encourage people to talk to health care professionals about memory problems, then disseminated the materials for placement in doctors’ offices.

 
Hawaii Resources
State:
Issue:

Caregivers + BRFSS

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Hawaii
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Hawaii
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Hawaii (2017)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Hawaii

BRFSS + Cognitive Decline

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Subjective Cognitive Decline (2017) (2017)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Hawaii (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Infographic: Cognitive Decline in Hawaii (2015)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Cognitive Decline in Hawaii (2011)

BRFSS + Caregivers

Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Hawaii (2019)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Hawaii (2019)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Hawaii (2017)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Hawaii (2017) (2017)
Alzheimer's Association Fact Sheet: Dementia Caregiving in Hawaii (2015)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infographic: Caregiving in Hawaii (2015)