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Finding a nursing home in the tundra can be an adventure into the unknown at first, but learning the ins and outs of Alaskan nursing homes and skilled nursing communities can help you and your loved one find the best senior care option available.
In Alaska, it can be common for nursing homes to operate in connection with hospitals for the sake of staffing and location. Being the largest and least populated state in the U.S., skilled nursing homes can be relatively scarce with only about 18 nursing homes certified by Medicare and Medicaid.
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Median annual rates for nursing homes and skilled nursing communities in Alaska come to a whopping $281,415, with both private and semi-private rooms averaging around $771 a day. The cost of nursing homes in Alaska is actually more than double the national average annual cost for a private room. The cost of nursing homes varies depending on the location of the home within the state.
For more information on nursing home care costs in Alabama, check out: Genworth's 2015 Cost of Care Survey - Alaska.
The Last Frontier is known for its natural beauty. With miles of uninhabited wilderness, Alaska can be enjoyed while hiking, paddling, canoeing, or fishing. Denali National Park is one of the largest in the U.S. located on North America's largest mountain. The peak of Mount McKinley, named by modern explorers, has a peak at the height of 20,300 feet. The six-million-acre park is the home to grizzly bears, wolves, reindeer, elk and more, including over 160 species of birds.
Those that want to view glaciers should head over to the Tracy Arm Fjord or Glacier Bay National Park. You will be able to view more than just glaciers and icebergs - wildlife sightings are common, including seal and whale sightings. The University of Alaska Museum of North has over one million historical artifacts and natural history pieces. Some things that are found in their collections are items used by indigenous groups, fine arts, and archaeological finds from prehistoric times.
Alaska Natives make up 15 percent of the state's population. Native heritage history and culture can be found across the state where people still live in traditional ways. Though indigenous influences can be seen across the state, Alaska is also well-known for their dog sledding culture as well.
Across Alaska, the climate ranges from an oceanic climate in the southern regions, and a subarctic climate in the northern parts. Southeast Alaska is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska.The state experiences long cold winters and short cool summers. Even in July, you can expect the average high temperature to be around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In January, average high temperatures can average anywhere from the negative range to 30 degrees.
Near Barrow, Alaska the sun does not set from May 10 - August 2 and doesn’t rise for 67 days following the Winter Solstice. People suffering from Alzheimer’s, particularly Sundowners Syndrome may find this to be extremely distressing.
To make sure that seniors in Alaska nursing homes have the highest standard of care, the state has regulations for nursing homes and administrators. Regular nursing home inspections are required to ensure that seniors are in a clean and safe environment. Nursing homes in Alaska must meet safety requirements and staff members should follow proper procedures for food handling, as well as storing and administering medications. Nursing home staff members are also required to meet specific requirements like background checks and Hepatitis B vaccines. To get licensed as a nursing home administrator in Alaska, the individual must complete a training program and pass an exam.
If you're looking for adventure in the uninhabited wilderness, but don't want to give up modern conveniences, Alaska might be the state for you. With overall crime on the decline in the state, check out some of these safe cities you might want to settle down in.
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As we’ve explored before, paying for skilled nursing services in Alaska are a bit on the expensive side, so checking your loved one’s eligibility for Medicaid can make a significant difference. The Alaska Division of Senior and Disabilities Services provide a comprehensive guide to understanding and receiving financial help, hopefully making the transition to a skilled nursing home all the more gentle.
Residents of nursing homes in Alaska have rights protected under federal law. Residents have the rights afforded to them by citizenship, which includes the right to vote and religious freedoms. Residents have the right to exercise their rights, and the right to file complaints or grievances without reprisal. Nursing home residents have the right to be treated with dignity and the right to privacy. They have the right to have their medical and personal records handled in confidence, and the right to private communication. Residents have the right to equal care, treatment, and services provided by the nursing home without discrimination.
Regulations by The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development in Alaska ensure that licensed practitioners provide the utmost care for people requiring skilled and immediate nursing care and medical services. Such comprehensive, 24-hour care in the Alaskan frontier can be a steep financial mountain.
Residents have the right to information regarding any of the medical treatments they receive or the costs of those services. Residents also have the right to participate in decisions about treatment, including the refusal of treatment.