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Best Assisted Living in Alaska

Alaska is by far the largest of the US states, covers over 663,000 square miles and yet has a population density of only 1.2 persons per square mile. The often intense cold, the sense of isolation, the limited number of medical facilities – all this adds up to an environment that is not only not particularly senior-friendly, but not that friendly to anyone. Even so, Alaska, also known as “The Last Frontier” and “The Land of the Midnight Sun,” is still an irresistible destination for many, despite – or because of – the challenges it presents.

When it comes to independent and highly mobile seniors who love elbow room, this sparsely populated state, with all its drama and magnificence, might seem like heaven on earth. Besides all that breathing space, there’s access to nature on an unbeatable scale: ocean, mountains, active volcanoes, whale-watching, flora and fauna like nowhere else.

Whether one chooses to set up residence in the largest city, Anchorage, located in central-southern Alaska, or perhaps one of the smaller and highly individual towns of, say, Juneau, Homer, or Seward among others, you could choose between purchasing a separate home or buying into an active-adult community.

What people like about Alaska

  • The opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis, in person, would surely leave one speechless.
  • Alaska is highly tax-friendly to seniors. There is no income tax as well as no tax on Social Security benefits or pensions. Additionally, Alaska does not have a sales tax, nor estate or inheritance taxes.
  • As mentioned above, there are smaller, quirkier towns that might prove appealing. For the record, there are only 29 towns in the entire state with a population of 1,000 or more.
  • Fishing’s great. It’s true that only 3,197 of the over 3,000,000 lakes (yes, really) scattered over the state are recognized officially as “lakes,” but the point holds that it’s a fisherman’s paradise.
  • For those who enjoy other outdoor sports, Alaska rocks. Besides fishing, there’s hiking, biking, boating, and more.
  • Should you choose Anchorage, the city offers two modes of public transportation. One is their People Mover bus-service-plus-carpool organization service. The second is AnchorRides, transportation geared for seniors or those with disabilities. The city also supplies other attraction including museums, historical sites, parks, landmarks, wildlife preserves and much more for you and your guests to enjoy.
  • The University of Alaska Anchorage, not to mention its four community campuses spread out over the southcentral part of the state, is a source of information and entertainment as well as the opportunity to pursue your own studies.
  • There’s a sense of community here that’s quite exceptional. Like Wyoming (another sparsely-settled state) but even more so possibly, though the locals give each other space, they also count on being able to rely on each other, when need be.

Other considerations for Alaska

  • It’s expensive. The cost of importing food, clothing, and medical supplies is high, and that cost is passed on to the consumer. The cost of living here is approximately 30% higher than the national average. (According to PayScale.com, Anchorage is about 28% above average, while Juneau and Fairbanks are 33% above.)
  • And it gets cold. Even at the height of their brief summer, depending on where you are, the thermometer might climb into the 60s.
  • The “midnight sun” effect can be disconcerting, throwing off your internal clock. In Anchorage, e.g., between late May and mid-July, it never really gets dark.
  • Winter may seem endless. Generally, the season starts in early October and continues into early April, possibly as late as the middle of May. Sunlight is at a premium. For example, there’s a three-month phase, from mid-November until mid-February, when Anchorage receives maybe five hours of muted daylight each day. The farther north you go, the less light you’ll find.
  • Alaska is, as stated earlier, mindbogglingly huge. Despite spaciousness and the singularly sparse population, some residents have reported feeling claustrophobic at least during the season of ice and snow which makes travel so difficult. Even getting from one town to the next (or to a hospital or clinic) could mean chartering a small plane; driving will only get your so far, especially if weather conditions are poor.
  • There are hospitals and clinics scattered around the state, but you want to be certain (a) that there are medical facilities close by and (b) that those facilities can meet your needs.

Best Assisted Living in Alaska – Who Makes the List?

A look at the best assisted living in Alaska.

Anchor House – Anchorage, AK 99501

Anchor House is an assisted living home for adults who have experienced or are experiencing mental illness.

  • Caring– 1 Review, Average Rating 4
  • SeniorAdvisor– No Reviews
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: The staff is friendly and engaging with good supportive service, The food was always freshly prepared with a loving [and] homely touch, [resident] had the privacy and independent lifestyle she loved, a nice touch of personal hous[e]keeping care, active community events, Residents are treated with the highest respect and courtesy, [resident’s] living quarters were always clean [and] comfortable and homely, always a nurse at hand for any emergency, We always knew our mother was being well taken care of even while we were not around, it was like living at home

What they didn’t like: No negative comments found

Anchorage Pioneer Home – Anchorage, AK 99501

Anchorage Pioneer House provides Assisted Living and Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care.

  • Caring– 2 Reviews, Average Rating 4
  • SeniorAdvisor– No Reviews
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: felt like each person in the facility was being cared for appropriately, Everyone seemed to be professional, the facility was clean, the staff was friendly, Alaska Pioneers' Home is a good nursing home, They treat their [residents]…with love and care, they are not money minded, maintain a good garden and a park for relaxation, maintain the rooms neatly, Toilets were cleaned twice a day, has a library containing many spiritual books, has high-speed internet connections, many more indoor games, [Each] of the [faculty] working there doesn't hesitate to do any sort of help for the residents, [Faculty] do this service for pleasure and earning good deeds from heart, residents are free to talk [and] share their opinions and are free to do any work in there, could see the love and happiness in everybody's eyes

What they didn’t like: No negative comments found

Caring Bridges Assisted Living Home – Fairbanks, AK 99701

Caring Bridges Assisted Living Home offers Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Hospice Care.

  • Caring– No Reviews
  • SeniorAdvisor– 1 Review, Average Rating 4
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: One of the few [Assisted Living] places in Fairbanks, They are able to provide the care [resident] needs, [Staff] seems to be more engaging and have a higher staff to resident ratio than some other places [reviewer] looked at

What they didn’t like: No negative comments found

Hope Haven Assisted Living LLC – Fairbanks, AK 99712

Hope Haven Assisted Living LLC offers Assisted Living but focuses on Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care.

  • Caring– No Reviews
  • SeniorAdvisor– 2 Reviews, Average Rating 4.5
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: [Staff] has done an in credible job, [Staff] attentive [and] loving and caring, feels like “home,” [resident] hasn’t looked so good in years (even better that when she was in her own home), Her eyes and attention are even brighter, There is real heart and commitment in this place, The owner and people she hires are amazing

What they didn’t like: This place was really nice but not as engaging as another assisted living I was checking out, staff to resident ratio was slightly lower [than other facility]

Jewel Lake Assisted Living – Anchorage, AK 99502

Jewel Lake Assisted Living provides Assisted Living and Memory Care.

  • Caring– No Reviews
  • SeniorAdvisor– 4 Reviews, Average Rating 4.5
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: house was very clean, people were friendly and easy to deal with, people and caregivers at this facility are excellent, community is great with a wonderful staff, [owners] treat everyone like family, staff go above and beyond, staff treated [resident] with dignity and love, [resident] was always cleaned and groomed when [family] visited… which was nearly daily, [staff] always informed family on every aspect of [resident’s] care, how friendly the staff were which made us feel welcome, [memory care resident] still enjoyed the activities, singing, eating ice cream on back deck, residents there were happy, home environment where residents interacted with each other, [facility] had proper equipment to care for residents, also did end of life care, food is really great

What they didn’t like: Very good and caring but at what [reviewer] would consider a higher than average cost

Rabe Assisted Living – Anchorage, AK 99516

Rabe Assisted Living provides Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Respite Care to female-only residents.

  • Caring– No Reviews
  • SeniorAdvisor– 3 Reviews, Average Rating 4.5
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: This assisted living home was perfect!, staff was open [and] friendly and very caring, the house was beautifully clean and pleasant, [house] was a real “home,” [Owners and staff] very accessible, [Owners] just very straightforward [and] without a sales pitch, loved one was given really understanding care and…always looked very content and responsive, the owner knows her stuff when it comes to dealing with dementia residents, staff have a Positive attitude and respect and affection for the residents, always reassuring to see [resident[] was safe [and] clean and eating well (the food looked great!) and had no problems, none [of the other facilities visited in Anchorage] provided the level of care and help [Rabe does], [Rabe was] very well equipped to do what needed to be done, They did it all in a really positive way

What they didn’t like: No negative comments found

St. Anne Assisted Living Home II Dementia Care – Anchorage, AK 99518

St. Anne Assisted Living Home II offers memory care for those experiencing Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

  • Caring– No Reviews
  • SeniorAdvisor– 3 Reviews, Average Rating 4.5
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: liked the environment, clean, community is clean and maintained, friendly staff [and] community, staff was able to answer all our questions, community was clean, very happy with the care from this community, staff very caring and attentive to [resident’s] needs, a lot of variety on the menu, activities for residents who can participate

What they didn’t like: No negative comments found

Sunrise Manor – Palmer, AK 99645

Sunrise Manor offers Assisted Living and Memory Care.

  • Caring– 1 Review, Average Rating 4
  • SeniorAdvisor– No Reviews
  • SeniorHomes– No Reviews
  • GoldenReviews– No Reviews

What they liked: They paired [resident] with a roommate that she enjoys sharing her days with, entire facility is very well maintained, clean, a positive atmosphere, They take good care of her and meet her medical needs, [Resident] has a nurse that has been assigned to her and [is] overseeing her medical condition, all the themed holiday meals they provide her as she is no longer able to…join us for family holiday meals, “movie nights,” the community room where they all gather to watch movies, cost associated with care at this facility versus having an in-home care nurse is comparable.

[Resident] is receiving far better care than she would have at home, [Resident] is transported to and from her doctor appointments 45 minutes away in Anchorage, [Representative] was very helpful and took the time to answer all of our questions, the facility has maintained a consistent standard of care for [resident], The nurses and care providers are all very cheerful and know us all by name when we come in to visit, have never seen anything that I could report as a “negative,” [Resident] has had minor issues that were all resolved to her satisfaction but [these] were not issues directly related to the staff [but] were all creature comfort requests, I honestly don't have anything negative to say about Sunrise, [Reviewer has] recommended it to several close friends with aging parents

What they didn’t like: No negative comments found