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The state of Alaska defines an assisted living home as a home that receives payment to provide housing services, food services, assistance with daily activities or a combination of these services to three or more adults who are unrelated to the owner by blood or marriage. In other states, this type of senior care may also be known as personal care.
There are over 300 homes currently operating in Alaska.
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The median cost of an assisted living home in Alaska is $5,703 per month. This figure is significantly higher than the national average monthly cost of assisted living care. Anchorage, Alaska is the most densely populated city and county in the state of Alaska. Therefore, most assisted living or personal care homes are concentrated in this area although there are residencies located in Fairbanks, Alaska and sparsely scattered through the rest of the state.
For more information about assisted living costs in Alaska, check out Genworth’s 2015 Cost of Care Survey.
Famous for majestic glaciers, scenic wilderness, and unique wildlife, Alaska offers endless opportunities to experience an environment unlike any other in America.
With a strikingly vast wilderness landscape, Alaska provides countless wildlife centers, national forests, and parks to experience Alaska’s unique nature. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping can be done on coastline trails and national preserves like the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Mendenhall Glacier and Denali National Park and Preserve. During the winter months, wonderful downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and other winter sports are available at distinctly lower prices than on mainland America.
The Alaska SeaLife Center and The Alaska Zoo provide a safe atmosphere to interact with Alaska’s rare and wonderful wildlife like puffins and sea lions. Whale watching has become a beloved past time for locals and visitors.
Alaska is deeply steeped in a unique history. An array of historical and cultural museums such as White Pass & Yukon Route Railway and the Alaska Native Heritage Center, present knowledge of the exclusive lifestyles developed in one of the most northern areas of the world. Theatres and art galleries decorate communities for public enjoyment. However, a local will say the most beautiful art in Alaska is the magnificent Northern Lights.
Native Americans make up approximately 15 percent of the state’s population, but their heritage history and culture are found across the state, with some still living in traditional ways. Alaska is also well-known for their dog sledding events.
Alaska has varying climates of oceanic in the southern regions and a subarctic climate to the north. The wettest and warmest area of Alaska is to the southeast. The state has short cool summers paired with long cold winters. July average high temperatures are in the 50 to 60 degree Fahrenheit range while January temperatures may average in the negatives up to the 30-degree range, depending on your location in the state.
Near Barrow, Alaska the sun does not set from generally from May 10 - August 2 and doesn’t rise for 67 days following the Winter Solstice. People suffering from Alzheimer’s, particularly Sundowners Syndrome may find this to be extremely distressing.
Assisted living homes in Alaska are licensed by the state Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health Care Services’ Assisted Living Office. They are also responsible for inspecting the homes. When applying for a license, an assisted living homeowner must have a staffing plan that has the number of employees and their responsibilities, a business plan, and a disaster preparedness emergency plan.
Assisted living homes are inspected on an annual basis and within 24-48 hours of receiving a complaint. Inspection reports are available through contacting the Assisted Living Office.
When moving to a new community, it is important to take note of your surroundings and make sure you choose a safe place to live. Alaska has recorded an overall decrease of crime in the state, so there are communities you may enjoy living in. Below are some cities to start your search:
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Alaska is one of 45 states willing to pay for “Residential Supported Living Services” through Medicaid. This includes covering costs for assisted living or personal care homes. An Alaskan resident can apply via the Older Alaskans Medicaid Waiver. Follow the link to learn more about the eligibility requirements of the Older Alaskans Medicaid Waiver.
Alaska has been ranked one of the most expensive states for long-term care. Uniquely, the state of Alaska created subsidized assisted living for Alaskan residents, which benefits residents in multiple ways:
Alaska Pioneer Homes are state owned and operated offering less expensive services than private homes.
Alaskan assisted living communities offer financial assistance to those who still cannot afford the lowered monthly rate.
Pioneer homes have a reputable brand of providing exceptional services apart from privately owned assisted living homes. Currently, there are six pioneer homes operating in Alaska.
Just because you become a resident in an Alaska assisted living community does not mean that you lose the rights afforded to you as a citizen or resident of the United States. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and receive adequate, appropriate care. You have the right to exercise your rights, including filing complaints without fear of discrimination or reprisal. You also have the right to be fully informed of your health condition, as well as make decisions regarding your care plan.
According to Alaska’s regulations for assisted living homes, a home’s administration may create house rules for residents. However, house rules may not be created if it unreasonably restricts resident rights. A copy of house rules for a residency must be provided to a prospective resident and prospective resident’s advocate before entering into a legal contract with the assisted living home. The assisted living home’s administration may create house rules concerning any issues with the following:
Assisted living homes in Alaska are required to provide any type of heath services that are ordered by an attending physician, as well as keep all medical information confidential, accurate, and complete. All medical records must be kept at least 7 years from the date of discharge.
A resident can request a copy of all or a portion of their medical records, and access them within 24 hours. They can request a copy of some or all of the information at a cost not to exceed the community standard for photocopies.