ContentsArkansas Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Arkansas Quality And Safety Of Assisted Living Facilities In Arkansas Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Arkansas How Costs Compare In Nearby States Paying For Assisted Living Care In Arkansas What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Arkansas? Wellness Resources In Arkansas The Transition Into Assisted Living In Arkansas Arkansas Assisted Living Oversight
Arkansas is an affordable retirement destination for seniors with alower-than-average cost of living and no state income tax charged on Social Security payments ormilitary retirement income. The mild weather is ideal for active seniors looking forward to exploring the state’s many natural attractions. However, the relatively high crime rates in the state may deter some retirees. This guide covers assisted living in Arkansas, including the associated costs and the regulations these communities need to follow. It also includes options for covering care costs.
Arkansas Assisted Living: Types Of Senior Housing Options
Covering more than 53,000 square miles and nicknamed the Natural State, Arkansas is home to soaring mountains, rivers, lakes, hot springs, and wildlife-rich wilderness areas. The state also boasts vibrant cities and an exciting blend of cultures. Fortunately, seniors can find housing in appealing settings throughout the state, with options to suit varying needs and preferences.
Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs)
When a loved one can no longer live independently, an assisted living provider can be a good option. Assisted living residences are for residents who would like to, and can, maintain some independence but need help with meals, housekeeping, and some of the activities of daily living (ADLs), such as showering, getting dressed, or personal hygiene.
Assisted living communities in Arkansas are suited for seniors who need assistance with daily activities. Communities are regulated and licensed by theOffice of Long Term Caredivision of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. There are two types of residential assisted living communities in Arkansas:Level IandLevel II.
- Level I is for independent seniors who require limited support, such as reminders to complete activities of daily living and assistance with some tasks, including meal preparation and housework.
- Level II is for seniors who require higher support and care. These communities can administer medication, and they may admit some seniors who require a nursing home level of care.
Difference Between Assisted Living and Residential Care
Residential facilities are assisted living facilities that have special licenses and are staffed to care for residents with a degree of cognitive impairment that may preclude their admission into a typical assisted living facility. Residential care facilities are designed for three or more individuals.
Independent Living Communities
Independent living communities are a good housing option for seniors who can still live independently but want to downsize. Each resident or couple lives in a private unit, and most communities offer social programs so residents can meet their neighbors. Housekeeping, chores, and some meals may be provided, although these may incur an additional cost. Unlike the care given in an assisted living community, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management aren't available in these communities.
Nursing homes offer the highest level of care of all senior living options. These communities provide around-the-clock supervision and skilled nursing care, and medical help is available. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Arkansas has both skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for people who require 24-hour care and intermediate care facilities (ICF) for people who don’t need as much medical care. Theaverage cost of nursing home carein the state is $6,083 for a semiprivate room and $6,692 for a private room.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
Many seniors prefer to choose a community that will continue to meet their needs in the future. Continuing care retirement communities have independent living, assisted living, and nursing home facilities on the same property or owned by the same community. This model allows seniors to stay near their friends in familiar surroundings, even as their needs change. The care provided in the assisted living section of a CCRC is the same as in an assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options.
Supportive Housing is a residential facility designed for older adults or persons with disabilities who are unable to live independently. These individuals need help with toileting, bathing, dressing, medication management and administration, assistance with meals and housekeeping, and other activities of daily living. These individuals do not need regular nursing care. There are several housing options available that range from living in a facility to residents living in their own home or apartment, with community-based support services.
Adult Day Care
Seniors who only require assistance in the daytime may be able to get the care they need in an adult day care program. In Arkansas, there are two types of adult day care programs:
- Adult day healthcare(ADHC) programs provide hands-on clinical and personal care services for seniors who are unable to stay at home on their own. Programs use an interdisciplinary team to provide rehabilitation therapies, social services, nursing, medical care, and recreational activities.
- Adult day care(ADC) programs provide assistance with personal care and daily activities, but not medical services. ADCs must arrange a monthly activity schedule for group and one-on-one activities, including physical exercise, social engagement, and recreational activities.
Adult day care is unlike assisted living because services are only provided during the day. Adult day care is unsuitable for those requiring around-the-clock monitoring or care in an institutional or residential setting. Seniors must have alternative provisions for evening and nighttime care. Theaverage cost of adult day healthcarein Arkansas is $1,733 per month.
There are two types of in-home care available in Arkansas: homemaker services and home healthcare. Homemaker services generally provide personal care and may also help with errands, chores, and housekeeping. Home healthcare can deliver these services and also offer medical care such as skilled nursing and medication management. Unlike assisted living care, in-home care is provided to people in their homes, making it a good choice for those who prefer to age in place. However, it doesn’t give seniors access to the social and recreational programming of assisted living communities. The average cost of homemaker services is $4,185 per month and the average cost of a home health aide is $4,195 per month.
Largest Providers Of Assisted Living In Arkansas
Several of the major assisted living providers manage facilities in the state. Brookdale has four communities in the state. The Bungalows has three communities and Avenir manages two communities in the state.
Quality and Safety of Assisted Living Facilities in Arkansas
PerTitle 20 of the Arkansas Code, all assisted living communities must obtain a license from the Arkansas Department of Human Services. All communities must also adhere to minimum standards related to health, safety, and quality. They do this by having procedures for emergencies and disasters, abiding by fire safety regulations, and meeting staffing and physical space requirements.
All prospective employees must pass a background check before commencing employment to enhance resident safety and well-being. A background check must be repeated every five years throughout their employment. Staff members must receive training commensurate with their role, with basic orientation completed within the first week of employment and specialized topics covered within the first month. Minimum staffing ratios are in place to ensure adequate provision of care, and Level II assisted living communities must have a registered nurse on staff.
Cost Of Assisted Living Care In Arkansas
Theaverage cost of assisted living carein Arkansas is $3760 per month. This cost is $740 lower than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Arkansas is 21% lower than the national average with healthcare costs nearly 14% lower and housing costing 44% below the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. Costs in the state range from $3,329 in Pine Bluff to $4,500 in Hot Springs.
How Costs Compare In Nearby States
If you live close to one of Arkansas’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option. Four of Arkansas neighbors sport higher average costs statewide with Tennessee having the highest cost at $4,105. Two states, Mississippi and Missouri have lower averages at $3,500 and $3,000 respectively. Louisiana has a barely lower state average at $3,748 per month.
Paying For Assisted Living Care In Arkansas
The average cost of assisted living in Arkansas is around $45,000 per year, so, understandably, you or a family member may be wondering how to pay for care. A range of options is available to fund senior housing in the state.
Selling a home is a common way for seniors to raise funds for assisted living care. Income from pensions and Social Security may also pay for some care. Other examples of private funds include your retirement accounts, mutual funds, and other investments.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance covers personal care, residential care, and other long-term support and services. Each plan is different; however, most offer a daily amount based on the policy that pays for assistance with activities of daily living. Most people buy a policy in their 50s or 60s and access it when required. If you or your family member has a policy, read it carefully to see what care it covers.
Programs For Veterans
Arkansas has two Veterans Homes in the state. These homes are located in Fayetteville and North Little Rock. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Arkansas who served in the military. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices around the state where team members can help people obtain benefits and services. This includes theAid and AttendanceBenefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care.
Elderlife Financial can help you understandhow to pay for assisted living.
What Is Included With Assisted Living Care In Arkansas?
The services provided in assisted living communities generally come under three broad categories: personal care, medical care, and amenities.
Most people move to assisted living communities because they’re looking for easy access to personal care. These services assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting. communities also provide supervision and can deliver care for unforeseen needs or in cases of emergencies.
In Arkansas, ACHs must provide care and services in the resident’s care plan. This can include coordinating medical care and appointments. Communities may also deliver health services, with 56.% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 48% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 56% of ACHs have hospice services.
ACHs may provide specialized care for people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. These special care units have additional security measures to ensure residents don't wander, which is a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Typically, they also offer programs designed to improve cognitive function and routines that help lower stress.
Mental health issues are a growing consideration for communities, and services to address these concerns are becoming more common. In Arkansas, 86% of communities conduct depression screening, and 49% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 41% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents have access to all the resources they need.
Amenities refer to other features and services of the community. ACHs offer three meals a day and coordinate activity programs to help residents stay active and connected with each other, families, and the community. Arkansas facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.
Wellness Resources in Arkansas
Arkansas has more than120hospitals, along with numerous clinics and pharmacies. However, the state's164 physicians to 100,000 residentsratio is substantially lower than the U.S. average. The state has several high-performing hospitals, including the nationally rankingUAMS Medical Centerin Little Rock, theWashington Regional Medical Centerin Fayetteville, and theBaptist Health Medical Center of Little Rock.
Mental Health Resources
TheArkansas Department of Human Servicesoperates programs geared toward helping individuals improve and maintain mental health. NAMI has anArkansas branch, headquartered in Little Rock, to support anyone experiencing mental health difficulties.AARPmaintains online resources related to senior mental health. Veterans can access help via theArkansas Department of Veteran Affairs, 24/7Veterans Crisis Line, and the nonprofitArkansas Crisis Center.
The Transition Into Assisted Living In Arkansas
The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you'll notice changes in your loved ones that suggest they need some assistance. Signs that this environment could be beneficial include increased isolation, loss of mobility, noticeable weight loss or gain, and signs that they’re neglecting household chores.
Your older family member may be the one to start talking about assisted living. For many seniors, the idea of moving into a home where cooking, laundry, and other chores are taken care of is appealing. For seniors who realize they need help with daily tasks, the addition of personal care may come as a relief. In Arkansas, 11% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (24%), toileting (22%), and walking (50%). Caregivers in ACHs help 43% of residents to dress, and 61% of residents need help bathing.
If you think your family member would benefit from assisted living, start by talking about it openly. Highlight the positives of a move, such as social activities, cooked meals, and easily accessible assistance. Some ACHs provide respite care, which may allow your family member to have a trial run. Remember, this should be a conversation, not a lecture. Stay open to their opinion. If they’re not ready to transition to assisted living, talk about the care they need to stay at home.
Arkansas Assisted Living Oversight
The Office of Long Term Care division of the Arkansas Department of Human Services oversees assisted living communities throughout the state. Seniors can contact theDivision of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Servicesfor assistance accessing medical support or social services. Individuals may file complaints against assisted living communities, nursing homes, and other senior residential care communities by contactingArkansas’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
Unfortunately, Arkansas seniors are often targeted by scams and may also be vulnerable to fraud, abuse, and neglect. Since the aging population commonly faces these issues, the area of elder law has grown to offer protection to seniors and their families.Adult Protective Servicesoperates a hotline for people to report adult mistreatment, andArea Agencies on Agingcan connect seniors with legal services. Professionals offer free advice on civil law issues, including consumer affairs, public assistance benefits, health insurance, housing, and elder abuse. TheSenior Medicare Patrol programeducates seniors about Medicare fraud and scams.
Arkansas Legal Aidcan assist low-income individuals of all ages with various areas of civil law, such as denied benefits claims, family disputes, debt relief, and consumer fraud. Seniors can also take advantage of estate planning services, including wills, powers of attorney, and guardianship.