This webpage is intended to help the residents of Arkansas understand the different types of eldercare assistance available in their state, from their state. Our Resource Locator Tool, which is free to use, should be used to search for nationwide assistance.
The programs listed on this webpage are only comprised of options available from the state of Arkansas. Many other national programs do exist.
Did You Know?
For the elderly with moderate care needs, adult day care is the most cost effective approach. Furthermore, finding adult day care outside of large urban areas can be nearly 45% less expensive than inside more densely populated areas.
Arkansas Eldercare Costs for 2023
Assisted Living / Memory Care
According to Genworth’s most recent Cost of Care Survey, the 2021 monthly average cost of assisted living in Arkansas was $3,760. However, the average range across the state was quite large, with $3,329 / month on the low end to $4,500 on the high end. In the least expensive area of the state, Pine Bluff, care could be found with an average cost of $3,329 / month. In the more expensive parts of Arkansas, Little Rock and Hot Springs, the average monthly costs were between $4,488 and $4,500 / month.
Memory care, also referred to as Alzheimer’s care, is also available. However, it is approximately 20% – 30% more expensive than traditional assisted living due to the need for increased security and supervision. It is estimated that this type of care costs an additional $665 – $1,350 / month.
When it comes to home care costs, per Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Calculator, the average hourly rate for the state was $21.95 / hour. Jonesboro was less costly than the statewide average at $20.50 / hour. And the areas of Hot Springs, Little Rock, and Fort Smith were slightly more expensive at $21.90 to $22.50 / hour. The most expensive hourly rate was found in Fayetteville at $26.
For those requiring home health assistance, home health care is also available at a similar rate, with the average cost at approximately $22 / hour throughout the state.
Adult Day Care
Overall, adult day care can provide the most affordable care option for senior citizens and their families. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Calculator, the average cost of adult day care in Arkansas in 2021 was $80 / day. Though it ranged from $72 / day on the low end to $94 / day on the high end. The city of Hot Springs had the lowest daily cost at an average of $72 / day, and Jonesboro was on par with the state average at $80 / day.
Arkansas Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs
Medicaid Programs & Waivers for the Elderly
In Arkansas, the Medicaid state plan will cover the cost of living in a nursing home facility, as well as limited personal care in the home and community.
Personal Care Program
Via this state Medicaid program, which is an entitlement program, assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as grooming and dressing, preparing and eating meals, and medication assistance, is provided. In order to receive services, they must be deemed necessary by a physician.
Medicaid also offers Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver programs. These programs are designed to serve elderly residents in their current place of care, instead of in much costlier nursing home facilities. This is intended to help seniors reduce dependence on family members and to live more independently. Functionally, the applicants must require a nursing home level of care, but be willing to live at home or in assisted living instead. Unlike the state Medicaid program, Medicaid Waivers are not entitlement programs, which means there are enrollment caps, and wait lists may exist.
Currently, Arkansas provides three Medicaid Waiver programs:
AR Choices in Homecare
Intended to provide services to prevent the institutionalization of seniors living at home or in the home of a family member, a variety of services are provided to promote independent living. Benefits include attendant care, adult day care, respite care, and home modifications.
Living Choices Assisted Living Waiver
This wavier covers the cost of care services at assisted living facilities. But it does not cover the cost of room and board. Benefits may include attendant care, nursing evaluation, monitoring of medication, and more. Assistance may also be provided for those currently living in a nursing home but wish to transition into congregated (group) housing.
Independent Choices Program
While this program is not a waiver program, in and of itself, it is an option for seniors who are receiving services via the Personal Care Program or the AR Choices Waiver. This program provides counseling and gives monthly cash allowances to qualified applicants to use on what they see fit for their personal care. This program also covers the cost of home modifications, such as wheelchair ramps, and Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). An attractive component of the Independent Choices Program is that applicants can hire select family members, such as adult children, as care providers. Applicants must meet disability status / medical need criteria in order to qualify for this program option.
As of 2023, in general terms, to qualify for these Medicaid programs in the state of Arkansas, a single applicant cannot exceed $2,742 in monthly income. This amount is equivalent to 300% of the current Federal Benefit Rate.
The asset limit is set at $2,000 for an individual. While this figure may seem low, several assets are considered exempt, or said another way, are not counted toward the asset limit. These include one’s primary home, as long as the applicant or their spouse lives in the home and the equity value is not greater than $688,000, one automobile, and prepaid funeral and burial arrangements.
Both income and assets can be partly distributed to one’s spouse, if over the limit, as long as the spouse is not also applying for Medicaid. More about qualifying for Medicaid.
Arkansas Non-Medicaid Assistance Programs
Arkansas does not currently have any state non-Medicaid care assistance programs available. However the state does offer senior citizens financial assistance for home energy costs. One can download an application for this type of assistance here. Home delivered meals and transportation assistance are also provided free of charge, or heavily subsidized, to eligible seniors through the state’s network of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). Find your local AAA.
PACE Programs in Arkansas
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a joint initiative between Medicare and Medicaid to help seniors get the care and services they need in the community rather than transitioning to a nursing home for care. Because Medicaid differs in each state, PACE eligibility varies between states.
Arkansas residents may qualify for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) if they need nursing-home-level care and meet eligibility requirements. The program covers an array of health care services, including transportation and home care. To qualify for PACE, Arkansas seniors must:
- Be 55 or older
- Live in an area served by PACE
- Certify as eligible for nursing home care by Medicaid or another approved agency
How To Get Started with PACE in Arkansas
Seniors and their families can visit the Arkansas Medicaid website to learn more about or apply for PACE. The following providers can also help with PACE applications and using the program’s benefits.
Other Financial Options for Care
Along with these state-sponsored options, there are several more ways one can receive assistance in paying for care. Other options to consider are programs at the federal level, as well as local and non-profit routes. Our Resource Locator Tool is a great source to use to find such reduced-cost programs and should be utilized to find the program that best meets one’s needs.
Finding Affordable Care in Arkansas
To find more affordable care options in Arkansas, click here.
There are many good reasons to search for a broad range of providers in the state in order to find more affordable care options. Things like in-home care can be much more affordable and cost-stable than a skilled nursing facility, especially in more populated urban areas. Our organization provides free matching services to meet people’s unique needs for eldercare services and their budgets.
Top Cities for Senior Care in Arkansas
For more information about the costs and resources available in Arkansas cities, click on the links below.