There are 53 assisted living facilities in Alaska, each providing nonmedical care to seniors with varying levels of needs. These include residents who require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as getting in and out of bed, toileting, eating and dressing. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the median monthly fee for assisted living in Alaska is $6,830, which is significantly more than the national average of $4,500. Each facility has a unique monthly fee determined by numerous factors, including the location and the quality and quantity of services provided.

What Do Alaska’s Assisted Living Facilities Provide?

In addition to helping with ADLs, staff in Alaska’s assisted living facilities also monitor residents’ medications; some facilities have nurses who can administer them. Other duties include managing social programs that typically include popular games, such as bingo and pinochle, as well as organizing day trips to nearby attractions. Amenities can vary between facilities, but it’s usual to find a communal lounge, library and a beauty salon and barbershop. Some of the more luxurious assisted living communities have swimming pools and spas.

Residents usually have a choice of studio and one or two-bedroom apartments (private or shared). They’re typically furnished with kitchenettes with utilities, such as a refrigerator and microwave, and bathrooms with walk-in showers. All rooms will have a 24-hour emergency response alert, fire alarm and sprinkler system. Meals are typically served three times per day in a communal dining room, and some facilities also have private dining rooms where residents can book to share meals with visiting loved ones.

How to Pay for Assisted Living in Alaska

Although Alaska’s costs for assisted living are much higher than the national average, they’re generally on par with the state’s other senior living costs. Medicaid only pays for medical care, so it can’t cover assisted living fees. The ALI Waiver can pay for help with ADLs (but not room and board) in a licensed facility that accepts Medicaid.

Medicare also won’t pay for nonmedical care, but there are additional options for seniors working on a low income. They can use their savings and retirement income to pay the monthly bills or get help from loved ones to pay the difference. Reverse mortgages are another popular option because they release equity on the senior’s home and don’t have to be repaid until the person passes or the home is sold. Annuity payments can also be used to cover care costs, while long-term care insurance is specifically designed for the purpose of paying for care.