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Home care or senior home care in Alaska is provided by senior home care agencies. There are different professionals who provide their services including registered nurses, home health aides, and social workers. Senior home care can be a good choice for people who may need extra assistance around the house, ranging to intensive medical care. The intent is to keep seniors in their homes and permit them to be independent for as long as possible. Alaska has about 57 home care agencies and an average monthly cost of $4,957.
Home care is needed for a wide range of situations which may include recovering from an illness, surgery, or could be due to dementia-related needs among others. To get the professional help you or your loved one needs, you’ll have to decide whether a licensed medical professional or a non-medical paraprofessional would be a more appropriate fit. With the latter option, services are more likely to include things like housekeeping and linen services, general shopping, transportation, meal prep, and help with other instrumental activities of daily living. In many cases, these two positions do overlap, so when interviewing a caretaker be sure to understand what their role will require.
There are a number of cities throughout Alaska that have senior home care agencies but the median monthly costs range from:
City Homemaker Services Home Health Aide Anchorage $5,148 $5,243 Fairbanks $4,954 $4,954 Rest of State $5,529 $5,529
Denali National Park and Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park, and Mendenhall Glacier are some incredible areas of natural beauty, complete with an abundance of wildlife. The Northern Lights are also something you can't miss! Caused by solar particles interacting with Earth's atmosphere, the result is a swirling array of green and blue lights dancing above Alaska's skyline. The state also boasts the Alaska Native Heritage Center, giving visitors a glimpse into the history and culture of Native peoples of the region.
The climate and weather in Alaska depend on where you are in the state and the time of year. Many Alaskan home health care agencies are located near Anchorage, which is in the southern part of the state. On average, summers reach a high of 64 degrees with days lasting longer than during the winter where average lows are around 3 degrees. The state gets approximately 135 days of measurable precipitation, which comes in 30 inches of rain and 66 inches of snow annually. Lighter layered clothing is recommended for the spring and summer and heavy clothing including insulated shoes are suited for the cold months.
Alaska’s culture stems from the outdoorsy residents who enjoy and take part in significant amounts of outdoor recreation. The outdoor recreational culture can be seen in the number of state events that are held such as the Iditarod, the well-known Native tradition of dog-sledding. Alaska Natives make up 15 percent of the state's population. Native heritage history and culture can be found across the state where people still live in traditional ways. Indigenous influences are present throughout the state, it's visual culture, music, and lifestyle.
Sperling’s Best Places ranked Alaska 53 on a scale of 100 (1 being the lowest crime) for violent crime and 42 for property crime; the United States overall ranked 41 for violent crime and 44 for property crime compared to Alaska’s ranking.
Alaska has joined the Green Dot project, which is a new approach to preventing crimes. Green dots are placed where positive change is used to stop crime, especially sexual assault crimes. Alaska has accumulated many green dots across their state, in their effort to prevent crime. Along with the Green Dot project, there are neighborhood watches, the police and other official associations dedicated to helping Alaskan citizens.
City Violent Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Property Crimes Per 1,000 Residents Wrangell 2.08 9.96 Unalaska 2.32 10.45 Cordova 3.49 12.65
According to federal legislation (42 CFR 484.36), Medicare-certified home health agencies are required to employ only health aides who have been trained and evaluated by the approved programs of their state of practice. These regulations provide the subject areas and required skills, as well as the qualifications for trainers approved to administer the competency evaluation process.
34 states in total along with the District of Columbia require a minimum federal standard of 75 hours of training. Additionally, 16 hours of supervised clinical training with 12 hours of continuing education every 12 month period are required to maintain a certification.
It is possible through several methods to pay for home care in Alaska. Based on your financial situation and individual needs, some payment options will be more sound decisions than others.
Firstly, Medicare does not pay for non-medical in-home care services. Mostly, it is used for its Supplemental Insurances to cover Medicare copayments and deductibles. In order to qualify for Medicare coverage for in-home care, it must be deemed medically necessary.
U.S. veterans can receive assistance for home care by using the Improved Pension or Homebound and Aid & Attendance Pension. To apply for these benefits, contact your local Veteran’s Association or Area Agency on Aging for more details and eligibility requirements.
Most seniors will choose to pay privately to avoid the hassle of maintaining insurances and other qualifications. Besides using one’s own savings to pay for care, others may choose to pay through a reverse mortgage, by opening a home equity line of credit or by converting their life insurance policies. If you had purchased long-term care insurance earlier in life, this option is also very viable.
Medicaid is another joint federal and state insurance program available to seniors and their families with low income. The rules, eligibility requirements, and benefits of Medicaid are state-specific and will vary based on your location. This program refers to care received outside of a nursing home as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). For more information on your state’s Medicaid requirements, you can click here.
Medicare-approved home health care guarantees you a series of rights and protections designed to provide you with the best experience possible. As you move forward with your care, it is required that the agency staffing your caregiver provides you with information regarding your rights. You are entitled to participate in decisions regarding your care and can choose the home health agency pending your managed care plan (if applicable). At all times, your privacy, property, and individual autonomy must be respected by your caregiver within the parameters of the care provided.
Some may reach a point where they are unable to make decisions regarding their own medical care — luckily, a family member or legal guardian can step in as an advocate on your behalf. It is also important to note that your Constitutional rights and those afforded to you by the Bill of Rights are retained throughout your care. If you believe a violation of these rights has occurred, reach out to an elder law professional to understand what actions may be possible.
Seniors receiving home care in Alaska have the right to obtain copies of their medical records and other protected health information. Although it’s a common misconception that this information cannot be disclosed due to privacy laws, the fact is that you can submit a written request to your health care provider and actually receive copies or digital versions of this information. You are not required to provide a reason as to why you are making this request, although it is likely you’ll be charged a fee to receive your records.
Your protected health information details information regarding your physical and mental health and can also include medical records, billing records, claims adjudication records, and other private documents. Receiving these records can take up to 30 days, or as long 60 days if your healthcare provider utilizes their single extension period. Beyond this point, it is required that you receive a written statement detailing the delay or denial of your records.