Alaska Memory care: Communities caring for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia care
Alaska’s population is small, given the enormity of the state. The state is home to 730,000 Alaskans, and about 13% are aging adults 65 years and older – and of those seniors there are an estimated 9,000 living with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. A growing number of people living in long-term care communities live with cognitive impairment. When most people think of senior care and housing, they imagine a nursing home. Nursing homes are not the only option for adults 65 and older. Cognitive decline requires specialized care and attention. Memory care communities provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Memory care in Alaska is a specific form of care designed to keep residents safe while receiving the appropriate care in a comfortable setting.
- Alaska Memory care: Communities caring for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia care
- Navigating memory care: care for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia in Alaska
- Memory care may offer activities and amenities to promote joy in the lives of residents
- How much does memory care in Alaska cost?
- How to pay for memory care in Alaska
- Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living:
- Questions to Ask
- Resources and Links- Alaska
- Search other areas for Memory Care
Aside from memory care in Alaska, there are a variety of senior living and care options which suit the requirements and desires of seniors.
Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living:
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)- typically include independent living, assisted living, residential care and skilled nursing services all on one campus.
- Independent Living Communities – provide residents a setting without the burden of home ownership. Residents commonly live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from a studio to large two-bedroom units.
- Care Home or Adult Family Care Home- are private residences in a home-like setting that provide care services to a smaller more limited number of residents (typically 5-12 residents, depending on each state’s regulations).
- Assisted Living- provides housing and supportive care in a community setting, but the residents do not require 24-hour nursing care.
- Memory Care- a care setting for residents with memory loss or confusion. The community typically has a “secured” entry for residents that may wander. This care can be provided in different care settings depending on the state licensing requirements.
- Skilled Nursing is state licensed to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for people who require rehabilitative care 24 hours a day.
Navigating memory care: care for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in Alaska
Memory care in Alaska is usually offered in assisted living facilities, often referred to as assisted living centers in the state. These facilities are licensed and monitored by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Healthcare Services. The department will do annual checks of facilities. These specialized care facilities create programs designed to meet the needs of people who require specific care, with specially trained staff and a secure environment to ensure the safety of residents.
Memory care typically offers exclusive features designed for the safety of residents with dementia:
- Security cameras to supervise entry and exit points in the community.
- Personal medical alert devices.
- Keypad (or other security measures) locks on doors to prevent residents from wandering.
- Safety protocols in place which may include locked doors.
Memory care services offered in Assisted Living Centers in Alaska
Services are coordinated by specially trained staff to perform a range of services designed to support residents 24-hours a day. Commonly, a memory care facility will have entrances and exits that require a code to get in and out. The communities are secured for the safety of residents. Standard procedures meet the needs of health, daily living activities, and the social needs of residents. Memory care communities may have organized calendars to keep residents engaged and active. These communities and relationships promote healthy and happy lives.
- Assistance with activities of daily living. This includes bathing, dressing and toileting.
- Assistance with medications, from storage to administration for residents.
- Round the clock access to trained nurses.
- Transportation to doctors’ appointments and additional outings.
- Interior and exterior maintenance duties.
- Meal preparation and serving.
- Housekeeping and laundry services.
- Evacuation plans.
Memory care may offer activities and amenities to promote joy in the lives of residents
- Arts and crafts
- Secure outdoor open-air courtyards
- Swimming pools
- Lounges for residents
- Game rooms
- Dining rooms
- Fitness centers
How much does memory care in Alaska cost?
Alaska is on the very high end of cost for senior care and housing. The monthly average cost of memory care in Alaska is $8,550, compared with the national average of $5,650. As you can see, there is a large discrepancy in cost.
National average cost of memory care per month: $5,650
Costs will vary within the state as well, depending on the city where you are seeking care. Let’s take a look at two of the larger, more well-known cities in the state.
Fairbanks: $9,100 – above even the state average.
Anchorage: $8,475 – slightly under the state average.
How to pay for memory care in Alaska
You want to consider your payment options for assisted living, memory care, and care homes. For these services, Medicare is NOT an option for payment.
The most common payment for these services would be out of pocket Private Pay and assessing a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
Medicaid can also be an option, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.
Long-Term Care insurance is also a possible option in cases of chronic conditions, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.
For our Veterans and spouses of veterans, be sure to assess Veteran Aid and your eligibility for these benefits.
Medicare – NO:
- Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
- People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
- Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.
Private pay – YES:
- Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
- Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
- Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.
Medicaid – MAYBE:
- Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
- Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
- Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
- National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
- The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
- If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.
Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:
Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.
- Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
- Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.
Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:
This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.
- There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
- A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
- If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.
Questions to Ask
Finding an assisted living community, can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:
Resources and Links- Alaska
Alaska Commission on Aging The mission of the Alaska Commission on Aging is to ensure the dignity and independence of all older Alaskans, and to assist them to lead useful and meaningful lives through planning, advocacy, education, and interagency cooperation.
State of Alaska – Long Term Care Ombudsman Federal and State law authorize the Ombudsman to identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, seniors in long term care facilities. State law also authorizes the Ombudsman to resolve problems relating to the “residential circumstances” of seniors who live in their own homes.
Alaska Federal Health Care Partnership The AFHCP office strives daily to exploit new technologies to enhance access to care and improve clinical outcomes; capitalize on sharing capacity and special expertise to better meet patient care requirements; reduce the cost to members for continuing education by providing locally available high quality educational opportunities; reduce members costs by leveraging the partners’ collective purchasing power; encourage cross agency cooperation at all levels.
Adult Protective Services Use Adult Protective Services to report any incident in which a vulnerable adult suffers harm from abandonment, abuse, exploitation, neglect or self-neglect.
Eldercare Locator This is a great resource to search for specific care in specific counties and cities. This database is a nationwide resource that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings
Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.
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