Anchorage Assisted Living: A Complete Guide to Assisted Living

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Anchorage Assisted Living: A Complete Guide to Assisted Living

810,000 residents live in assisted living communities globally. Are you searching for a new place your loved one can call home?

Assisted living provides older adults with a safe place to continue thriving and being independent while receiving some assistance with needed tasks.

It can be challenging to find all the information you need in one place. So to create a guide to assisted living filled with the information you need to make future decisions for your loved one.

Here’s everything you need to know about Anchorage assisted living and what you can expect when determining where the right place for your loved one to live will be.

We will provide information about when to move to assisted living; we’ll also detail the services your loved one can expect when living in a senior community. So get ready for the advice about assisted living you’ve been searching for.


What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living refers to a specific type of senior housing. People that move into assisted living require differing levels of care.

For example, if someone enters assisted living and is still independent, they can change their level of care as time continues. As they get older and need more assistance with daily activities, their care plan can be adjusted to meet their individual needs.

In assisted living, the goal is to provide an atmosphere like what you’d expect when living at home. This ensures that the transition to a senior community is as smooth as possible.

Assisted living is for people that still maintain a significant amount of independence, but it doesn’t mean there are no residents with disabilities. These residents require a different level of care and will receive the necessary accommodations upon moving into assisted living.

Much like nursing homes, the living arrangements vary greatly from private rooms to apartments. The needs of your loved one will determine the type of living conditions you select for them.

We’ll detail the difference between each form of housing below.


The first living situation in some senior communities is apartment styled living. Senior apartments allow residents to maintain an increased sense of privacy and provide several different amenities that they can easily access.

However, with the increase in privacy, residents won’t have access to the same services someone in a nursing home or assisted living facility would have. For example, some assisted living communities that offer apartment-style living don’t offer medication management.

It’s also common for residents to be responsible for preparing their meals. Apartment-style communities are best for seniors that wish to downsize from their current living situation while still living in an area where social activity is promoted.

Private Rooms

Private rooms are different from apartments, but residents still have privacy, promoting continued independence. The difference is that staff members have access to residents’ rooms as needed and can provide residents with housekeeping or weekly laundry pickup services.

If your loved one doesn’t desire these services, they can be removed from their care plan.

If you choose a private room for your loved one, keep in mind that it will be more expensive. Most senior communities that offer private rooms will provide different layout options for you to choose from.

The layout you choose will increase or decrease the cost of living in those rooms.

Shared Rooms

The last option in senior communities is the option of shared rooms. Shared rooms come in pairs and feature different layouts to ensure both residents maintain a sense of privacy.

A curtain typically splits the room to ensure privacy when one resident does something like getting dressed or receiving a bed bath.

Shared rooms are more affordable because your loved ones won’t have a room completely to themselves. Of course, there will be times when they don’t have a roommate, but that can change.

Shared rooms are an inexpensive option for residents that need care while being conscious of their budget. However, if your loved one wants more privacy, you need to speak to care management about transferring them to a different room.

Different Types of Senior Living Communities

As you do your research, you’ll notice many senior living options at your fingertips. But, unless you take the time to learn about each option, it will be challenging to determine which is right for your loved one.

Keep in mind that your loved one might start in one community, but changes can be made to accommodate them as their need for more care increases. Depending on the community, some services aren’t offered – but we’ll discuss the signs that it’s time for your loved one to move into a specific form of senior living later in the guide.

Understanding what the signs are will help you ultimately make the best decision. Once you have a list of options, don’t forget to take your loved one along because they need a chance to see the potential place they’ll live.

Independent Living

The purpose of independent living is to help residents maintain the lifestyle they live outside of the facility. Residents are offered a series of educational programs and activities that allow them to be social and get the exercise they need.

Independent living commonly doesn’t provide health services, and there is an assessment most residents must undergo to move into them.

Age-Restricted or Retirement Community

Age-restricted communities are usually apartment-style and operate much as any other apartment would. The only difference is for residents to move in, they must meet a specific age.

The living option isn’t only apartment-style. Depending on the community area, residents can live in a condo or townhouses.

One of the benefits of seniors living in an age-restricted community is that they don’t have to worry about lawn maintenance, allowing residents to create strong friendships with other seniors.

Aging in Place

Aging in place falls under the category of home health. Instead of a person being uprooted and moved to another community, they stay home and have a caregiver come to their house to offer the services they need.

If someone has specific needs, their home can be adjusted to improve their mobility and make it easier. On the other hand, if someone can do most things themselves even if their health begins to decline, aging in place is a great option.

Aging in place is also a cheaper alternative to some of the other options.


CCRC is a continued care retirement community. This option offers several forms of giving arrangements for seniors.

While some options include senior apartments, others are offered within assisted living facilities. If a senior no longer wants to deal with the responsibilities of living in their own home, this is a good option.

Again, for people that are empty nesters, CCRC is great, and it allows seniors to transition from one form of care to another. In these settings, residents can get to know staff members personally because they’ll be with them daily.

Also, this is an option for married couples that both need care but don’t want to live separately.

Senior Cohousing

This isn’t a common form of senior living, but it is an option for independent seniors. Senior cohousing is when a group of seniors bands together to buy a housing complex.

Cohousing allows seniors to create a network of social connections with other seniors while also sharing resources. By doing this, residents can reduce the amount they pay on various expenses, and they have access to companionship they might have been missing.

Cohousing can take place in family settings, allowing seniors to be around younger people such as children. In addition, Cohousing allows seniors to rely on each other for daily help if needed.

Home Sharing

As the name suggests, this is when older adults share a living space. For example, one situation where the home-sharing label pertains is if an elderly adult rents out a room in their home to someone else.

When the roommate moves in, they can determine if the person will contribute to the cost of rent or be responsible for sharing expenses such as shopping or other household chores.


Today, there are 1.4 million hospice patients in the United States. This level of care is intended for patients living with a terminal illness.

Seniors can receive the services offered by hospice either while living at home or residing in a nursing home facility. Hospice care is responsible for providing patients with the assistance they need to manage their pain and make them as comfortable as possible.

Hospice is best for people that have decided to discontinue care that fights against their disease. It’s more so about managing their current symptoms until they pass.

They are given the resources to make the most of the time they have, including receiving spiritual services and additional medical care.

Memory Care Facility

Memory care is for seniors that need assistance with cognitive impairment. The most common form of cognitive impairment is Alzheimer’s, which more than 5 million people deal with. Memory care can also be used for people with dementia that need constant monitoring.

Memory care units are locked to ensure residents don’t wander into areas where their safety could be compromised.

There are more staff members in these facilities because each resident needs different levels of care. So even if your loved one is in the preliminary stages of Alzheimer’s, they’ll still qualify to move into a memory care unit.

This is because the disease will progress, and in severe cases of dementia, a person could have challenges expressing their emotions and thoughts. In addition, they’ll need help doing things like bathing, eating, and dressing.

Memory care can be expensive because residents need round-the-clock assistance and supervision. Some things that may increase or decrease the cost of care include the specific medical needs of your loved one.

If they need to attend doctors’ appointments, this can be included in their care plan, and the facility will be responsible for their transportation.

Respite Care

Several forms of care fall under respite care. If your loved one needs care for a shorter period, they can receive this in an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or a residence. This is the best option for people recovering from surgery or an illness who will need increased supervision until they are ready to return home.

Respite care is also useful for family members acting as caregivers for their loved ones. As a caregiver, it’s common to experience burnout at some point, but respite care gives you a break you need to reset and prepare to take care of your loved ones when they return home.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes are licensed facilities that the government regulates. Certain standards must be met to ensure they can continue operating and servicing their residents.

Nursing homes are equipped with the resources to care for residents no matter the medical complexity of their needs. However, if someone needs long-term care, a nursing home is the best option.

They’ll receive the care they need without worrying about doing their laundry or cooking their meals.

Average Cost of Assisted Living

Assisted living isn’t cheap, and it’s important to understand the cost because most facilities operate on a monthly payment plan.

It’s challenging to state the cost of living in an assisted living facility because underlying factors can affect the overall cost. However, understanding these factors will help you as you move forward with determining what you can afford.

It’s also useful when determining how you plan to pay for your loved one’s accommodation. For example, one of the things to discuss with a facility when you’re choosing between senior living options is the payment methods they accept.

Here are the factors that can change the cost of care for your loved one to live in a specific place. Also, when you decide to move them into a facility, the cost of living there should be documented in your signed paperwork.

Level of Needed Care

When someone enters assisted living, they might maintain a significant amount of independence. However, as we age, this level of independence decreases, and the need for assistance increases.

The first factor that influences the cost of living in an assisted living facility is the level of care your loved one requires. The higher the level of care your loved one needs, the more expensive living in an assisted living facility will be.

As their needs increase, you can discuss transitional options for the future. The benefit of entering an assisted living facility that offers more than one level of care makes the transition easier.

Facility Amenities

Some facilities offer more amenities than others do. For example, luxury assisted living facilities might offer salon services or nail services to residents.

With the addition of these luxuries, you can expect to see an increase in your monthly payments to live there. But, it’s not something you’ll be billed separately for. Instead, when you receive your invoice for the month, it will be an added fee listed.

For example, if your loved one enjoys getting their hair done, they might have a standing appointment with the assisted living hairdresser charged to their room. There are other additional fees that you might incur depending on your living selections.

These additional fees include concierge services, transportation, and pet fees.

You read that right. If your loved one has a furry companion they’d like to bring along, like a dog or a cat, there’s a fee. Additionally, the animals will need to be kept in their room, and they must keep it clean.

If a staff member enters the living space and the animal isn’t being cared for properly, other arrangements for the animal will need to be made. Another additional service is if your loved one needs transportation services.

Some people in assisted living can still drive themselves from place to place, but others no longer have this ability. You can pay a monthly cost to have someone drive your loved one around to complete various errands and attend doctors’ appointments.


If your loved one wants to live in an Anchorage assisted living facility, they need to consider the cost of living in the area. If the area you live in is a thriving region, it will increase the cost of living there.

Again, this is something to discuss with the facility you plan to move your loved one into.

The facilities in Anchorage offer a premium option to residents. This premium option offers a higher level of support and takes care of customization to another level.

How to Pay for Assisted Living?

After gaining a deeper understanding of the factors that can increase or decrease the cost of assisted living, it’s time to address how to pay for it. Assisted living isn’t free, and you need to educate yourself on the cost of your loved one living in this area.

The conversation of paying for assisted living can be overwhelming if you’re unsure of your options. However, knowing your options can help you plan accordingly for your loved one’s future.

Considering a Budget

One way to pay for assisted living is to rework your budget to be able to accommodate your loved ones’ living situation. Depending on where the assisted living facility is located, you might be required to pay your bill ahead of time.

Others, as mentioned, require you to adhere to a month-by-month payment. You might also be able to access other services that make it easier for you to pay for assisted living on your own.

Home Equity

Home equity is another option you have when paying for assisted living. If your loved one is leaving their home behind, you can opt to sell or rent the home to cover the cost of care.

Selling a home is the best option if your loved one wants to get rid of the home and no longer needs it. Renting a home is another option if your family member wishes to keep the home in the family.

Renting it out is also a good idea if you need extra income to cover the cost of care. If these aren’t options, a home equity line of credit can be opened.

This is like having a credit card because it offers a secured line of credit that you can put towards necessary expenses. One benefit of a home equity line of credit is you can secure one with a lower interest rate.

The last option that falls under home equity is bridge loans. Bridge loans offer excess cash dedicated to moving into an assisted living facility. While you’re taking care of your family members’ homes or liquidating assets, the bridge loan cash can be used towards covering expenses.

Long Term Care Insurance

LTCI is insurance used to cover the cost of assisted living. If your family member has secured long-term care insurance, it’s essential to take some time to review the coverage.

This ensures you’re clear on the portion of care that insurance covers and the portion that will need to be covered out of pocket. You need to know what is covered by your insurance because you don’t want to make the mistake of moving into a facility and being blindsided by your monthly bill.


While Medicaid is an option for covering costs, it doesn’t cover assisted living. However, what it does cover is the cost of short-term care. This makes it an ideal option for individuals that need rehabilitation services and will eventually move back into their own homes.

An assisted living facility might not deny your family member’s ability to live there, but they might reduce the number of Medicaid residents they take in. Each facility has the option to set its own specific guidelines that will determine who can and can’t live there.

Family Support

If all else fails, another option that can be used is tapping into family support. For example, if your parents are the ones you’re moving into assisted living, but you don’t have access to other financial resources, you’d want to have a conversation with your siblings.

You could work together to cover the cost of your loved ones’ living arrangements.

Life Insurance

If you choose to access your loved one’s life insurance, you can surrender the policy to your insurance company for a specified cash value. The disadvantage to doing this is that in the future, any beneficiaries listed on your loved one’s policy won’t receive benefits when they pass.

There are some hybrid options to combine short-term coverage with your life insurance policy.

Levels of Care in Assisted Living

Your loved ones’ needs will determine the level of care they need. So when you’re reviewing the additional services offered by an assisted living facility, you need to consider the care they need each step of the way.

Levels of care refer to the support your loved one needs to complete ADLs or activities of daily living. These activities are important to ensure your loved one continues to thrive.

Your loved one can change levels of care as needed as they progress in age.

Low/Mild Level of Care

This level of care is best for independent individuals. However, while a resident on this level is independent, they might need some reminders to perform the different activities of daily living that exist.

Someone that needs mild care might also need some supervision when completing these tasks. For example, a staff member might remind your loved one it’s their day to shower and remain nearby while they bathe to ensure they’re okay.

Once the shower is finished, they will supervise your loved ones while getting out of the shower and getting dressed. This is again for safety purposes – and just in case they are putting something on wrong and need someone to remind them of the correct way to do something.

Moderate Level of Care

The moderate level of care is when someone mostly independent needs a little more help with daily activities.

For example, your loved one might not need help with feeding themselves. But they might need more assistance bathing and get dressed in the morning. Throughout the time they’re in assisted living, the care staff will evaluate them to determine if there are changes in care that should take place.

If there are changes they suggest need to be made, you’ll be notified and typically meet with the staff to determine when the right time to make these changes would be.

High Level of Care

The last level of care is the highest. This is when someone has lost most of their independence and needs help with most or all activities of daily living.

Sometimes this means your loved one needs multiple caregivers to help them throughout the day.

How to Find the Right Assisted Living Facility?

The assisted living options at the fingertips of your loved one are endless, which means it’s important to find the right one for them to move into if you don’t take the time to find a place that meets the needs of your loved one, the chances of them thriving decreases.

Here are some factors to consider when searching for a place for your loved one to move into.

Tour the Facility

The first step to take as you survey facilities is to take a tour. By taking a tour, you get to see several things in person.

One thing to survey is the decor around the facility. You need to pay attention to decor to ensure these places have decor that is uplifting for residents.

Also, the furniture around the facility should be comfortable and easy for residents to sit in. You should ask the assisted living facility manager if you’re able to personalize the room where your loved one would potentially live.

Another thing to consider while touring the facility is safety and accessibility. For example, if residents use wheelchairs, the building should contain stairlifts, wider doorways, and wheelchair ramps.

These features will make it easy for people to get around without constant assistance. But, of course, safety is also important because accidents happen, but the facility should do what it can to reduce these accidents.

For example, as we get older, our sense of balance isn’t as strong as it used to be. Does the assisted living facility where your loved one will be living have handrails in the shower to use?

Do they have shower chairs available to reduce the chance of them falling? Lastly, don’t forget to consider the cleanliness of the facility.

If the facility isn’t clean, it’s a reflection of how they do business and isn’t a place you want to entrust with the care of your family member.

Are Staff Trained

The staff in the facility should be equipped with the training to take care of your family members. When reviewing your senior living options, consider the staff training to certify them to work as caregivers.

After staff has been trained, does the facility provide ongoing educational sessions to refresh them on what they need to know? How many staff members are available compared to the number of residents in the facility?

What is the turnover rate for the staff at this facility? Is there a registered nurse on staff to provide medication management to residents?

These are just a few questions because you’re concerned about your loved one. The facility should understand this and be forthcoming about what they offer to residents.

Cost of Care

Cost of care is important to plan for to ensure your loved one has what they need. If the facility accepts insurance to cover care costs, they’ll provide a list of the types of insurance they accept.

Before you discuss cost, speak with your insurance provider to understand what care services they cover. Once you understand what’s covered, you can discuss it with the assisted living facility.

Also, while discussing costs, the facility will detail how often you should expect a bill from them. If there are issues concerning your bill, the facility manager is the first person to speak with.

They’ll detail the next steps to take and how to resolve your bill if needed. It’s important to communicate as clearly as possible regarding the financial aspect of assisted living care.

Does It Offer Activities?

Residents need activities to participate in throughout the month. These activities keep them engaged and allow them to interact with other residents.

As you review the social activities for the month, inquire about whether or not they’re open to family members or are for residents only. Of course, you must attend family activities when you can.

It allows your loved one to continue bonding with you and can help make their assisted living transition easier.

When Is It Time for Assisted Living?

Deciding to move someone into an assisted living facility isn’t easy. However, there are some telltale signs that its time.

Keep in mind most of these signs are things you can notice in your loved one – and others are things to identify in yourself. So here are is what to look out for as you move forward with deciding when it’s time for your loved one to move into assisted living.

Increase in Aggressive Behavior

Often, seniors with dementia might show increased signs of aggression as their disease continues to progress. However, this aggression isn’t because they’re upset; they typically have problems understanding what’s going on around them.

As cognitive ability declines, the only way they know how to express their emotions is to act out aggressively. Unfortunately, as a family member doing a caregiver’s job, you’re not equipped with the training needed to handle this, and your loved one needs more services than you can personally offer.

Increase in Care Needs

Suppose your loved one’s health declines, needing more assistance increases. For example, your loved one might’ve been independent and only needed you to come over and help with light housekeeping.

But as they’ve gotten older, you realize they need help to manage their medication and bathing. If you don’t have time to dedicate to this, they’ll need to move into a place that can provide what they need.

Beginning to Wander

For someone that suffers from cognitive impairment, what was once a simple trip to the grocery store could turn into chaos because they’ve forgotten how to get home. When older adults begin to wander, it puts their cognitive abilities into question – it also forces you to rethink their safety.

In assisted living, the staff is there to monitor your loved ones and always ensure they’re safe.

Caregiver Burnout

Do you feel you don’t have time for yourself or your family? Have you put your needs on the back burner because you’re caring for an older loved one?

This is called caregiver burnout and can cause a noticeable strain on your relationship with your loved one, leading to a blowup. Often, caregivers begin to burn out when the needs of their family members change – or they begin to show signs of aggression.

Common signs of caregiver burnout are when you feel yourself losing interest in your usual hobbies or if you feel stressed out often. In these situations, you and your family members should turn their care over to trained professionals.

If you’re not healthy and taking care of yourself, there is no way you’re going to care for your loved ones the way they need and deserve.

Living Alone Isn’t Safe

67% of slip and fall cases occur when someone slips on something or trips. This doesn’t have life-altering consequences for most people, but for someone older, falling at home when no one is around can turn life-threatening.

If your loved one has begun to neglect household tasks such as doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or cleaning up, it can create a hazardous living environment. When your loved one’s home becomes dangerous, it’s a sign they need to move into an assisted living facility.

The last thing you want is to arrive home to check on them, only to discover them on the floor. There’s no telling how long they’ve had to lay there until someone comes to call the paramedics to help them.

In assisted living, caregivers are around performing rounds and can provide medical attention when it’s needed quickly.

Anchorage Assisted Living: The Guide to Assisted Living & More

Anchorage assisted living facilities are like no other assisted living facility globally. We’ve taken the time to create a guide to fill you in on everything there is to know about assisted living, including the different levels of care and our premium options.

Contact Baxter Senior Living and let us help your loved one feel at home. We have the staff, facility, and services your family member needs as they continue to get older.



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