Assisted Living in Alaska

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Families looking for assisted living in Alaska (AK) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 28 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 11 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Alaska will pay $6,300 per month on average.

Average Monthly Costs

States near Alaska

$6,884.00 Alaska
$6,010.00 Hawaii
$5,611.00 Washington
$4,000.00 US
Genworth lists the average cost of a private, one bedroom unit in an assisted living community in Alaska as $6,884. This places Alaska on the higher end of the scale at about $2,900 over the national average, and about $1,100 higher than the median cost of assisted living in nearby states.

Compare Monthly Care Costs

When it comes to care options, assisted living is just one of several choices available to seniors. Some care options, like part-time in-home care or independent living, may cost less, while others like memory care or skilled nursing are likely to cost significantly more. Seniors can speak with their medical practitioners to receive guidance on what level of care will best suit their needs and abilities.

Nursing Home Care


Assisted Living


In-Home Care

Average Monthly Costs

Cities in Alaska

$7,375.00 Fairbanks
$6,676.00 Rest Of State
$6,556.00 Anchorage
When estimating the cost of assisted living, it's important to know that average prices can differ significantly between various parts of Alaska. The most affordable region in Alaska for assisted living is Anchorage at $6,556.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Alaska

Assisted living communities in Alaska are referred to as "assisted living homes," or ALHs. These communities are regulated by the Assisted Living Licensing Division of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Assisted living homes in Alaska provide help with the various activities of daily living (which include bathing, getting dressed, taking medication and eating) and create a safe, secure environment for their residents.

These homes provide care to those with various disabilities, age-related infirmity or dementia. However, they do not include facilities that help those with chronic mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. They only have to be licensed if they have three or more resident, as do all facilities that fall under the broader umbrella of adult foster homes, or receive any form of government funding.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Alaska

For low-income seniors who may struggle to afford the cost of assisted living, Alaska offers a subsidy program to help reduce the financial burden.

The Senior Benefits Program

The Senior Benefits Program is a monthly subsidy given to Alaskan seniors who meet income and residency requirements. The program offers three benefit tiers that correspond to income levels, and funding is covered by the state budget. The maximum amount allowable for each tier depends on the level of funding available for that year and the number of applicants who are approved. If the budget is not enough to cover the set amount for each income level, the maximum allowable will be reduced, starting with the monthly payments for the highest income level.

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for the Senior Benefits Program, seniors must be U.S. citizens who are at least 65 years old. Qualified applicants are Alaskan residents, have a Social Security number (or can provide proof that they have applied for one), and demonstrate financial need. Some Alaskan residents are not eligible for the subsidy, including seniors living in prison or jail; nursing homes; public or private institutions for mental disease; Alaska Pioneers' Homes; or Alaska Veterans' Homes. Seniors living in assisted living communities, however, are usually eligible.

The payment awarded to qualified applicants is calculated by determining which income level the applicant falls under. Seniors who earn 175%, 100% or 75% of the state poverty level are eligible for subsidy payments from one of three tiers, with the lowest earners receiving the highest subsidy.

How to Apply

To apply for the Senior Benefits Program, residents should download the PDF application from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website. Completed applications must be mailed or faxed to the Senior Benefits Office using the contact information found here. Applications must be resubmitted each year to determine eligibility based on the updated Alaska Federal Poverty Guidelines.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Alaska

Seniors in Alaska can take advantage of the many nonprofits and government-funded agencies created to offer information and assistance to anyone demonstrating a need for senior care. These programs can offer a comprehensive breakdown of senior care choices and provide information on any financing options available.

Alaska Area Agency on Aging

The Alaska Commission on Aging provides assistance to seniors in the area. As a national network that includes more than 600 locations across the United States, the AAA provides free services such as information and referrals for senior care, case management, support systems for families and caregivers, assistance with money management, transportation and meals. AAA representatives can also help seniors with applications for available assistance programs and help them understand and maximize the benefits of their insurance. The Alaskan office is located in Juneau and the contact information is listed below.

Alaska Commission on Aging

240 Main Street, Suite 100, 103 P.O. Box 110693, Juneau, AK 99811
(907) 465-3250

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Alaska

Seniors who live in Alaska’s assisted living facilities are protected by an extensive set of laws and regulations designed to govern senior care across the state. Some of the more relevant state regulations and laws are listed below.

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

Assisted living service plans must be completed within 30 days of admission and must be approved by either the resident or their representative. This plan must outline any strengths or weaknesses a resident has performing the activities of daily living, any impairments or physical disabilities, roommate preferences, selections for living environment, entertainment and food, and the resident's religious affiliation. Service plans identify the services to be provided by the assisted living community or other agencies and will explain how the community will address the resident's health-related needs.

The care planning process involves identifying any risks and providing options to meet the resident's needs regarding their abilities, service needs and preferences. All risks must be discussed with the resident or their representative and allow them the opportunity to assess possible risks when making their selections. The plan must also recognize the right of the assisted living facility to refuse to accept the options and associated risks the resident has chosen.

Service plans will be re-evaluated annually except those that include health-related services which will be subject to quarterly re-evaluations. Residents who need health-related services that require a skilled nurse or those who need hospice care, may select a third-party provider as long as it is not disruptive to the services provided to other residents.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

Alaska does not have any mandated state admission requirements. However, new residents must not require skilled nursing care for more than 45 days. Seniors who are considered terminal may remain in the community as long as a physician feels their needs are being met.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Facilities typically provide three types of assistance: help with daily living skills such as grooming and bathing, social interaction support which includes activities, transportation and legal help, and 24-hour monitoring.

In addition, some ALHs may provide residents with intermittent nursing care, hospice services and up to 45 days of skilled nursing care. Residents may also receive assistance with self-administration of medication.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

The two Medicaid waiver programs listed above (ALI and APDD) provide assistance with seniors residing in an assisted living facility. In a limited number of cases the state may also supply an optional Social Security supplement to residents.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Assisted living communities may provide single or double-occupancy units to residents. Residents who share a room are expected to have reasonable privacy, but this is not specifically defined. For every six residents, the community must provide one sink, one toilet, and one shower or bath. Residents must have storage space for their personal possessions, and the community must have adequate personal hygiene items available. Rooms must be equipped with a signal device so that residents can alert staff when they are unable to do so verbally.

Meals served at assisted living facilities must follow the Food Guide Pyramid, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At least three balanced meals must be served daily at regular times and at least one snack must be provided each day. Assisted living communities are encouraged to offer fresh fruits and vegetables as often as they are able. Any religious or health-related food restrictions must be considered during meal preparation, along with ethnic or cultural preferences.

Medication Management Regulations

Medication administration tasks must be delegated by a registered nurse in accordance with Alaska's nurse delegation statute and rules. For residents who self-administer medication, regular staff may at the resident's request give scheduled medication reminders, read labels to residents and check their self-administered dosage against label information, help open medication containers, observe residents as they take medication, and guide or direct the resident's hand while taking medication.

Staffing Requirements

All assisted living communities must have an administrator who oversees daily operations and care providers to meet the daily needs of residents. There is no minimum staff-to-resident ratio, so communities are responsible for determining the number of staff needed for daily operations and to execute any services outlined in care plans. All assisted living homes must have one care provider on staff who is trained in first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Staff Training Requirements

All staff members must complete an orientation that explains set emergency procedures, fire safety, rights of residents, any applicable universal precautions, rules governing resident interaction, house rules, medication management procedures, the layout of the property, and staff reporting responsibilities. Administrators must complete 18 hours of continuing education, and care providers must complete 12 hours.

Background Checks

Staff at assisted living communities are subject to extensive background checks. Individuals convicted of arson, indecent exposure, domestic violence or felonies are ineligible for employment at assisted living homes. Prior to employment, all staff members must submit a sworn statement regarding any convictions and submit to state and federal background checks. The national criminal history check is conducted by submitting fingerprints to the Alaska Department of Public Safety before hire and must be resubmitted every six years.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

All assisted living communities within Alaska must meet the minimum standards for protecting residents from abuse, exploitation and neglect. Written policies and procedures that explain prohibited behavior are mandatory, and staff must report alleged or suspected abuse to the the Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman Office or the Alaska Adult Protective Services. All alleged or suspected incidents must be documented, and steps must be taken to immediately remove the threat for further abuse. An investigation must be conducted and the documented results submitted to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Assisted Living Facilities in Alaska