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Alaska has several distinct advantages and disadvantages. The biggest draw is that you will live in one of the most beautiful places on earth if you are the outdoors type. On the other hand, the rugged landscape and distance from the rest of the continental U.S. is not ideal for seniors that have family living in other parts of America. Yet in terms of memory care, Alaska facilities are very accommodating.

Alaska has less than 740,000 residents and is not expected to grow at the same rate as other places in the U.S. are currently expanding at. It may be a step behind due to Alaska being so secluded. Consequently, the service and value of Alaska dementia care homes is outstanding but the selection is a little limited, especially when you wander past the main city of Anchorage.

Anchorage supports nearly half of the state’s population, so you will naturally find the best selection as well as monthly rates in this city. Alaska dementia care ranks seventh in terms of being the most expensive with an average median of $64,800 per year. The figure is approximately $7,000 more per year compared to the national average.

Alaska Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care - Services

Alaska dementia care and Alzheimer’s homes may be secluded but that doesn’t mean they are in poor quality. If you already have a loved one that lives in this remote part of the U.S., or would like to move one closer to you in Anchorage, then these kinds of communities offer a number of great amenities.

Along with 24-hour personal care by dementia-trained staff, the facilities also support housekeeping and laundry services. The staff is here to manage medications, notifying residents when they are due to take medicine and not only making sure meds are taken, but also in the right doses.

Along with a room that features standard furnishings like a bed, desk and dresser, new residents are encouraged to bring mementos from their former place of residence. Family portraits and other special items of sentimental value can help liven the mood of the room. The room may either be completely private, or semi-private with a barrier between roommates depending on the facility and price the family can afford to pay.

The entertainment rooms often include features like a flat screen TV or table for card games, puzzles, and board games, though memory care units have recently been stepping up their services in this regard. Instead of simply thinking residents will be pleased all day sitting in a TV room, staff now tends to coordinate and schedule a variety of activities for residents to enjoy throughout the day.

The scheduled activities are completely optional and voluntary, yet involvement is encouraged because socialization and cognitive stimulation can go a long way for Alzheimer’s and dementia form treatment. However, staff is well aware and equipped to deal with a variety of moods, as there will be days when residents simply do not feel good mentally or physically. It is where one-on-one interaction between a loved one and staff member can also take place.

Alaska Memory Care Regulations

All memory care facilities operating in Alaska are regulated by the Division of Health Care Services, a section of the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services. These are specialized assisted living facilities that are permitted to provide seniors who are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of memory impediments.

These facilities have to live up to all the requirements of regular assisted living facilities, plus some specific regulations that apply only to memory care facilities.

Facility Regulations

Alaska has a more relaxed set of regulations that apply specifically to memory care facilities. Here are the main regulations these facilities have to follow in the construction and operation of the facility itself:

  • All memory care facilities must have systems to alert staff when people exit the building, such as:
  1. 15-second delayed door for exiting the building
  2. Alarmed exits
  3. Wander alarms for residents
  4. Other state approved alert methods
  • Bedrooms for residents should be at least 80 square feet for single rooms or 140 square feet for double rooms. No more than two residents are allowed to stay in any room.
  • For every six residents in a building, there must be at least one full bathroom with a shower for bathtub, toilet, and a sink.

There are no specific regulations about the way memory care facilities should be built beyond these requirements.

Staff Regulations

Every memory care facility in Alaska is required to employ:

  • An administrator for daily operations
  • Care providers that match the needs of residents
  • At least one staff member with current certification in CPR and first aid

There are no requirements for memory care facilities to keep a specific ratio of care providers to residents. As long as the existing staff are able and qualified to handle resident needs, the facility is clear to operate.

Administrators and all care staff need to have continuous training each year, with administrators needing 18 hours of training and care providers needing 12 hours of training. Administrators must be at least 21 years old. All staff are required to do a background check before being hired, regardless of their position.

No additional dementia care training is required for staff of memory care facilities in Alaska.

Service Plans

Within the first 30 days of being admitted into one of the Alaska memory care facilities, incoming residents should have a full plan for their care. This plan is approved by the resident themself or their representative. Each plan is individualized to the resident, and it includes:

  • Ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Information on any disabilities
  • Resident preferences on boarding, food, and general care
  • Religious affiliations, if any
  • Rights and responsibilities of residents
  • Right of the facility to accept or reject resident’s preferences based on associated risk
  • Arrangements for third-party care, if needed

The purpose of this plan is to outline what the resident is able to do, what care they need, their specific preferences, and how the facility will manage their care.

Checking Violations

All memory care facilities are part of a database that allows you to look at any violations they’ve faced in the past, as well as the current state of their licensing. You can find the latest version of this database on the Alaska Department of Health Care Services website here.

Alaska Medicaid Memory Care Programs

Medicaid in Alaska does not cover assisted living facilities, including memory care facilities. However, some Medicaid programs will contribute to costs associated with memory care. Room and board in memory care facilities is not covered under any of these programs.

Here is a breakdown of the main Medicaid programs that can assist with memory care in Alaska.

Alaskans Living Independently

This program is for Alaska seniors who are in need of nursing home level care to assist in their ADLs. Under this waiver, seniors can get support to either receive care they need at home or to get assistance with the cost of care at an assisted living facility. Home improvements and modifications for home living can also be covered by this waiver for seniors who would prefer to stay at home.

When a senior receiving this benefit is residing at an assisted living facility, some extra services can be covered, but the room and board at the facility will not be paid for under this waiver.

To be eligible for this program, residents must be:

  • At least 65 years old, or between 21-64 years of age and legally defined as physically disabled by Social Security
  • In need of nursing home level care
  • Eligible for Medicaid in Alaska

Adults with Physical and Developmental Disabilities

Unlike most Medicaid programs, applicants for this program don’t need to be 65 or older. Instead, it’s open to those who are 21 years or older who have one of the following conditions that requires nursing home level care:

  • Autism
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Developmental disabilities with physical impairments

The program assists individuals who need nursing level care to either receive care at home or to remain in an assisted living facility of their choice for longer. While room and board at a memory care facility are not covered, additional support for residents in these facilities may be covered by the waiver.

Medicaid Eligibility Requirements in Alaska

Residents of Alaska can be deemed eligible for Medicaid based on their income individually or combined income of spouses, if applying for Medicaid together.

In terms of income, anyone applying for Medicaid must not have an income higher than $2,742 per month. For married couples applying, each person much be under this same threshold individually. If an individual is applying for Medicaid without their spouse, up to $3,715.50 can be transferred to that spouse each month and not counted as income for the applicant.

In addition to income, applicants are subject to limits on their countable assets. For Alaskan residents, no applicant can have countable assets valued more than $2,000. Assets for married couples are counted together if applying together, with a limit of up to $3,000 of countable assets, but if an individual is applying for Medicaid without their spouse, the non-applying spouse may keep assets up to $148,620 from the jointly owned assets the couple possesses.

Beyond the income requirements, individuals must also:

  • Be legal residents or citizens of the US
  • Be residents of Alaska

Admissions Requirements for Memory Care in Alaska

Alaska does not have many restrictions on who can or cannot apply to stay in a memory care facility. These facilities generally admit residents who have some kind of memory impairment, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Residents may also have physical disabilities, as long as they do not require advanced care from specialized providers.

If residents require care from skilled nurses for more than 45 days in a row, they are not eligible to stay in a memory care facility. This includes people who have been diagnosed with a chronic mental illness.

Patients who are terminally ill can be admitted into a memory care facility or can remain if already admitted, but only if a licensed physician verifies that all their needs are being met in that facility.

When Is Your Loved One Ready for Memory Care in Alaska?

Everyone is different. The decision to move a loved one to an Alaskan memory care facility has to be based on their individual circumstances, quality of life, and care needed to thrive. To make this decision for your loved one, consider these factors:

1. Living Environment

When you notice important changes in how your loved one operates in their living environment, this can point toward the need for greater support. Watch for signs that regular home maintenance is being neglected, bills are going unpaid due to forgetfulness, and general upkeep of the home is becoming strenuous for your loved one.

Similarly, if your loved one’s home environment is unsafe for them with their condition and cannot be easily modified, this can present a huge challenge. Falling, wandering, and difficulty navigating around the home are all signs of an unsafe living environment.

2. Behavioral Changes

As your loved one’s condition progresses, you’ll notice changes in their behavior that lead to a worse quality of life. Some changes to look for include forgetting necessary tasks like daily hygiene or fully deviating from normal daily routines. If your loved one is withdrawing more, becoming anti-social, experiencing increased anxiety, or getting irritated more easily, these are all signs of progression of a memory disorder that may require more attention.

3. Availability of Care

Part of knowing when it’s time to look for additional care is to understand how available care is for your loved one right now. As their needs grow, is there a caretaker capable of handling those needs at all times? It’s a difficult task to care for a loved one with memory loss, so you need to consider if there are caretakers available to handle their needs as they require more attention.

Caretakers can become fatigued if they’re taking on more than they can handle. If your loved one requires more attention than a caretaker can manage on a daily basis, it may be better for them to move to a facility where they can receive full-time care from professional caregivers.

4. Impact of Memory Loss

As memory conditions progress, your loved one will begin to experience forgetfulness more regularly. While forgetting small things is not likely to have a huge impact on their life at first, they are likely to begin forgetting more important things later. As forgetfulness escalates, it will have a stronger impact on their life, leading to potentially dangerous situations if they forget to turn off appliances, lock their doors, get dressed appropriately, or forget their way home after leaving the house.

The more your loved one forgets, the more you need to consider how that impacts their life and how it can be accommodated. Memory issues can cause great distress for your loved one, leading to confusion in their daily life and disorientation.

5. Issues with Incontinence

If your loved one is forgetting to go to the bathroom, this is a sign that they need more regular care. Incontinence greatly increases the burden on the caregiver and creates unsanitary conditions for your loved one that can greatly impact their quality of life.

6. Quality of Life

At the end of the day, quality of life is what matters most. If you feel that your loved one is not thriving where they are and they need more care than they’re receiving at home, it may be time to consider relocating them to a memory care facility in Alaska where they can be given the support they need to continue living a dignified, fulfilling life.

Common Questions About Memory Care in Alaska

1. What is memory care and how is it different from other senior care options in Anchorage?

Memory care is a specialized form of senior care designed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other memory-related issues. It offers tailored support and activities to meet the unique needs of these residents. Unlike other senior care options, memory care communities in Anchorage provide 24/7 supervision, cognitive therapies, and safety measures specifically aimed at memory-related challenges.

2. Are there memory care communities that offer bilingual services for seniors with diverse backgrounds in Alaska?

Yes, some memory care communities in Alaska recognize the importance of accommodating seniors with diverse backgrounds. They may offer bilingual services, multilingual staff, and culturally sensitive activities to ensure residents from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds receive proper care and engage in meaningful experiences.

3. What safety features are typically found in memory care communities near Juneau?

Memory care communities near Juneau prioritize safety for residents with memory-related challenges. They may include features such as secured entrances, alarmed doors, well-lit pathways, and specially designed layouts to prevent wandering. Trained staff members are also present to provide assistance and ensure residents' safety at all times.

4. How does sensory therapy benefit seniors with dementia in Sitka?

Sensory therapy, offered in memory care communities in Sitka, focuses on stimulating the senses to enhance residents' well-being. For seniors with dementia, sensory activities involving touch, smell, sound, and sight can evoke positive emotions, improve mood, and provide sensory engagement that can trigger memories and create moments of joy and connection.

5. What specialized activities are available for memory care residents in Ketchikan?

Memory care communities in Ketchikan offer a variety of specialized activities to engage residents with dementia. These may include reminiscence therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and sensory gardens. Activities are designed to stimulate cognitive function, encourage social interaction, and provide opportunities for residents to connect with their surroundings.

6. How can families be involved in the care of their loved ones in memory care communities in Alaska?

Memory care communities in Alaska encourage family involvement to support the well-being of residents. Families can participate in care planning meetings, join group activities, and visit regularly. Many communities also offer educational workshops for families to better understand dementia and learn effective communication techniques for interacting with their loved ones.

7. What role does nutrition play in memory care for seniors in Anchorage?

Nutrition plays a vital role in memory care for seniors in Anchorage. Memory care communities often provide well-balanced meals that support brain health and overall well-being. Nutrient-rich foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, are incorporated into menus to promote cognitive function and reduce inflammation that may contribute to memory decline.

8. How do memory care communities in Fairbanks create a supportive and engaging environment?

Memory care communities in Fairbanks create supportive and engaging environments by providing tailored activities that cater to residents' cognitive abilities and interests. They may use memory-enhancing games, life skill stations, and multisensory experiences to encourage participation and foster a sense of accomplishment among residents while promoting social interaction and cognitive stimulation.

9. Are there memory care communities in Alaska that offer pet therapy?

Yes, some memory care communities in Alaska incorporate pet therapy as part of their care programs. Interacting with therapy animals can have therapeutic effects, reducing anxiety, improving mood, and promoting a sense of companionship among residents. This type of therapy is especially beneficial for seniors with memory-related challenges.

10. How can memory care residents in Alaska stay engaged with nature?

Memory care communities in Alaska often incorporate nature-themed elements to provide residents with a connection to the outdoors. They may have secure outdoor spaces, gardens, or nature-inspired decor that allow residents to enjoy fresh air, observe wildlife, and engage with sensory experiences that evoke memories of nature and create a calming environment.

11. What support is available for family caregivers of memory care residents in Ketchikan?

Memory care communities in Ketchikan often provide resources and support for family caregivers. They may offer caregiver support groups, educational seminars, and counseling services to help families navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia. These programs aim to provide guidance, emotional assistance, and a sense of community for caregivers.

12. How do memory care communities in Alaska promote social interaction among residents?

Memory care communities in Alaska promote social interaction by organizing group activities that encourage residents to engage with one another. These activities may include art classes, group exercises, music therapy sessions, and reminiscence circles where residents can share their stories and experiences. These interactions help foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.

13. Are memory care communities in Anchorage equipped to handle medical emergencies?

Yes, memory care communities in Anchorage are well-prepared to handle medical emergencies. They have trained staff members who are proficient in first aid and CPR. Additionally, many communities have established protocols to ensure residents' safety during emergencies, including communication with medical professionals, families, and local authorities as needed.

14. What outdoor recreational opportunities are available for memory care residents in Fairbanks?

Memory care communities in Fairbanks offer outdoor recreational opportunities that cater to residents' abilities and interests. They may organize supervised outdoor walks, picnics, gardening sessions, and nature observation activities. These opportunities allow residents to enjoy the natural beauty of Alaska while engaging in safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences.

15. How do memory care communities near Juneau address behavioral changes in residents?

Memory care communities near Juneau have trained staff members who are skilled in understanding and addressing behavioral changes in residents with dementia. They use person-centered approaches to identify triggers, create tailored care plans, and implement strategies that promote a calming and supportive environment. These approaches aim to reduce agitation, anxiety, and other behavioral challenges.

16. Are there memory care communities in Sitka that offer music therapy?

Yes, many memory care communities in Sitka offer music therapy as a therapeutic activity. Music therapy has shown to have positive effects on memory, mood, and overall well-being for individuals with dementia. Trained music therapists engage residents in musical activities that stimulate cognitive function, evoke memories, and create a sense of enjoyment and connection.

17. How can I find a suitable memory care community for my loved one in Ketchikan?

Finding a suitable memory care community in Ketchikan involves researching options, visiting communities, and asking questions. Look for communities that specialize in memory care, offer personalized care plans, have trained staff, and provide engaging activities. It's important to consider your loved one's preferences, needs, and the community's reputation to make an informed decision.

18. Are there memory care communities in Alaska that incorporate technology for cognitive stimulation?

Yes, some memory care communities in Alaska utilize technology to provide cognitive stimulation. They may offer interactive games, touch-screen devices, and virtual reality experiences designed to engage residents' minds, improve memory, and promote mental agility. These technologies are tailored to seniors with dementia and can be adjusted based on individual preferences and abilities.

19. What is the role of art therapy in memory care communities in Anchorage?

Art therapy plays a significant role in memory care communities in Anchorage. It offers residents a creative outlet for self-expression and communication, even when verbal abilities decline. Engaging in art activities can reduce stress, improve mood, and provide a sense of accomplishment. Art therapists work with residents to tailor activities that cater to their cognitive abilities and interests.

20. How do memory care communities support residents' spiritual well-being in Fairbanks?

Memory care communities in Fairbanks recognize the importance of supporting residents' spiritual well-being. They may offer spiritual activities, meditation sessions, and opportunities for reflection that align with residents' beliefs and values. These activities create a sense of purpose, provide comfort, and promote a holistic approach to residents' overall quality of life. provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Additional senior living options in Alaska:

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