Page Reviewed / Updated – April 8, 2024

This information is intended to aid Alaskans in understanding the costs associated with assisted living and home care throughout the state of Alaska. It navigates through financial assistance and alternative payment options for aging in one’s home, the home of a relative, or some form of residential care.

While the state of Alaska offers several programs to assist the elderly, there are also national assistance programs available. In order to determine what nationwide assistance is available, and which program is best suited to one’s needs, please use our Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator, as the programs listed below are specific to Alaska.

Alaska Eldercare Costs for 2024

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Assisted Living / Memory Care

Based on Genworth’s 2023 Cost of Care Survey, the statewide average cost of assisted living in Alaska is $7,250. That being said, the national monthly average for assisted living is $5,350/month. This means the average monthly cost of assisted living in Alaska is approximately 35% higher than in the rest of the states.

Memory care, which is also referred to as Alzheimer’s care, is also available and typically costs 20-30% more than traditional assisted living. The estimated average cost of memory care is about an additional $1,812.50 per month.

Home Care

The statewide average for home care costs for Alaskans, according to the 2023 Cost of Care Survey by Genworth, is $32/hour. Home health care (which provides minimal medical assistance) is $33/hour. In Anchorage, the average hourly cost is $35/hour.

Alaska Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Programs & Waivers for the Elderly

In Alaska, Medicaid, which is called DenaliCare, will cover the cost of nursing home care, as well as pay for personal care in the home.

Personal Care Services Program

The Personal Care Services Program is part of the state Medicaid plan and is there to provide qualified applicants personal care services, such as assistance with bathing, toiletry, monitoring of medications, and meal preparation. With this program, there is an option for consumer-direction, also called self-direction, as participants can hire and manage the caregiver of their choosing (with some exceptions) to provide services.

Medicaid also offers what are called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, which provide assistance to seniors who reside outside of a nursing home. It’s important to note that while the state Medicaid program is an entitlement program, Medicaid waivers are not. This means that one does not automatically receive services via a Medicaid waiver simply because they meet eligibility requirements. This is because there is an enrollment cap for Medicaid waivers, which may result in wait lists. 

Alaska currently offers two Medicaid waiver programs that are relevant to elderly residents: The Alaskans Living Independently Waiver and Adults with Physical & Developmental Disabilities Waiver.

Alaskans Living Independently (ALI) Waiver

This program helps seniors receive care in their own homes and in the community, including assisted living facilities, instead of at nursing facilities. This program also covers the cost of home modifications, specialized medical equipment, adult day care, and more.

Adults with Physical & Developmental Disabilities (APDD) Waiver

The APDD Waiver is for individuals who are a minimum of 21 years old and are physically impaired due to an intellectual or developmental disability, or autism. A variety of services — including adult day care, home modifications, and chore services — are available via this waiver to allow eligible individuals to live at home or in assisted living, rather than a nursing home.

Medicaid Eligibility

Income Limits
The Medicaid eligibility rules in Alaska have both income and asset restrictions. While eligibility may vary slightly based on the program, in general, single applicants, as of 2024, cannot exceed $2,829 in monthly income for long-term care. If an applicant has a non-applicant spouse, the applicant spouse may be able to transfer up to $3,853.50 / month in income to their spouse as a spousal allowance.

Asset Limits
Asset restrictions allow the single applicant to have no more than $2,000 in liquid assets, which are assets that are easily converted to cash. However, joint assets and some high value assets — such as the home (up to an equity interest of $713,000) in which the applicant or their spouse resides and a single car — may be exempt. Non-applicant spouses are allowed to keep up to $154,140 of the couple’s joint assets as a resource allowance. Assistance is available to help persons qualify for Medicaid.  Learn more.

Alaska Non-Medicaid Assistance Programs

As all forms of assisted care are more expensive in Alaska than in the rest of much of the United States, the state has therefore provided six non-Medicaid financial programs to help the residents of Alaska who do not qualify for State Medicaid.

Alaska Senior Benefits Program

This program provides monthly cash assistance to lower income elderly residents, with no restrictions on how to use the resources. There is an income limit for individuals and married couples, applicants must be a minimum of 65 years of age, and applicants must not live in a nursing home or state-subsidized assisted living. Aside from that, there are no other restrictions.

Senior Access Program (SAP)

SAP provides financial assistance to help older Alaskan residents make home modifications to reduce the challenges associated with aging at home. Home modifications might include the installation of a wheelchair ramp, grab bars, or a stairlift. There are income and residential limits to this program, as well as the requirement that it must be a current need, not an anticipatory one.

Adult Day Care Services (ADS) Program

ADS is a network of adult day care centers that provide services during daytime hours for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, as well as frail, elderly residents, so they can avoid going to a costlier skilled nursing facility. Applicants must demonstrate a functional need for supervision, and residency requirements apply. Make note, there may be a waiting list for this program.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) Mini-Grants

ADRD mini-grants exist to help those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia increase their quality of independent living. Any Alaskan resident diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, may qualify. The mini-grants can be used for a variety of purposes, such as home modifications, fall alert systems, assistive technology, and medical equipment. 

Alaska Pioneer Homes

The Alaska Pioneer Homes system provides subsidized assisted living for state residents who are at least 60 years of age. The residents must have lived in the state for at least one consecutive year and have Medicare Parts A, B & D to qualify.

Senior In-Home (SIH) Services Program

The SIH program is for individuals with limited physical or mental capabilities to remain living in their homes through the deliverance of non-medical assistance. This might include assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, preparation of meals, and housework, as well as respite care. Supplemental services grants are also available via SIH. This program is restricted to low income residents who do not qualify for Medicaid in Alaska.

Other Financial Options for Care

To locate other programs that can be of use to ease the financial burden of assisted care in Alaska, make sure to use our Financial Assistance Locator Tool. There are many other avenues for eldercare financing aside from state-led programs. Help may be waiting through federal and non-profit channels as well.

Finding Affordable Care in Alaska

The geographic isolation of the state of Alaska, both from other states as well as cities within the state, makes it extremely difficult to move around in search of more affordable care. Given this situation, home care for the elderly in Alaska is by far the most affordable type of care in the state, as it is least affected by the lack of human capital within the state. Either way, there is still good cause to reach out to multiple providers to find the most cost-effective plan. Click here for assistance.

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

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Top Cities for Senior Care in Alaska

For more information about the costs and resources available in Alaska cities, click on the links below.