As a retirement destination, Alaska offers a variety of scenery and open space unrivaled in the United States. Its reputation as “The Last Frontier” is accurate in many ways: Alaska has 17 national parks, including the country’s four largest. The snow-covered peaks of Denali National Park and Preserve are an awesome example of the vast, untamed wilderness that spreads across the state’s interior region. Many visitors to Juneau are surprised to feel the mild climate of the temperate rainforests in the state’s southeastern panhandle. And while Anchorage is farther north and surrounded by rougher terrain and colder conditions, its coastal location brings much cooler temperatures and less snowfall than the state’s Arctic regions in the far north. Alaska’s spectacular views and remote locales come at a price, though, as the most sparsely populated state in the country has fewer senior living options and therefore higher costs.
The median monthly cost of a care home in Alaska is about $6,000. However, the cost of living in a care home depends largely on location. Since the homes are private residences, costs are tied to real estate value and therefore may vary greatly.
Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because care homes operate similarly to assisted living communities, states may regulate care homes within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in Alaska.
In Alaska, care homes — sometimes called residential care homes, board and care homes, group homes, or personal care homes — are often houses in residential neighborhoods that are adapted, equipped, and staffed to care for a small number of residents, usually 10 or fewer. Similar to assisted living but in a smaller, more residential setting, these homes provide supervision, organized events, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). This means care homes can help with everyday routines but typically do not provide 24-hour skilled nursing assistance.
Overall, the cost of living in Alaska is considered to be higher than the national average. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.
About 13% of Alaska’s population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, Alaska leaned conservative.
By far the northernmost U.S. state, Alaska overall has a much cooler climate than the rest of the country, and its large size and geographic variation mean the state has many different climate classifications. In the southeastern panhandle, where the capital city Juneau is located, the temperate rainforests along the Pacific coast have an oceanic climate with mild temperatures throughout the year, accompanied by lots of rainfall. The higher elevations in the inland part of the panhandle — like much of Alaska’s interior and northern regions — have subarctic and tundra climates, with short, cool summers and winters with extreme cold and much snowfall. The Aleutian Islands in the southwest portion of the state have an oceanic climate similar to the panhandle. In Alaska’s southern coastal region, Anchorage has relatively mild temperatures with a warm-summer Mediterranean continental climate, although it’s surrounded by higher elevations with colder temperatures and more snow. There are pockets of cold semi-arid climates in the interior and northern regions of the state, and some areas in the far north have an Arctic — or ice-cap — climate with long and extremely cold winters.