Arkansas Assisted Living & Home Care: Costs and Financial Assistance

Introduction:

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, and many other programs do exist. 

Did You Know?  For the elderly with moderate 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 Elder Care Costs for 2017

Assisted Living / Memory Care

In 2017, the monthly average cost of assisted living in Arkansas is close to $3,183. However, the average range across the state is quite large, with $1,150 / month on the low end to $5,950 on the high end. In the least expensive areas of the state, Pine Bluff, Fort Smith, and Jonesboro, care can be found for as little as $1,450 / month, with the average being closer to $2,550 / month. In the more expensive parts of Arkansas, Little Rock and Hot Springs, the monthly costs average closer to $3,880 / month.

Home Care

When it comes to home care costs, the options are nearly uniform, with the entire state averaging $18.50 / hour in 2017. This number is consistent throughout Arkansas, with Jonesboro providing an available minimum cost of $11.50 / hr. The area of Fort Smith also offers a more affordable cost than the statewide average at $15.50 / hour. For those requiring home health assistance, home heath care is also available at nearly the same rate, with the average cost being $19.00 /hour throughout the state.

Adult Day Care

Overall, adult day care can provide the most affordable care option for senior citizens and their families. The average cost of adult day care in Arkansas in 2017 is $59 / day, though it ranges from $50 / day on the low end to $121 / day on the high end. The city of Hot Springs and the Little Rock Area have the lowest daily cost at an average of $66 - $70 /day. The Fort Smith and Pine Bluff areas have higher average daily costs at $82. 

 

 

Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Assistance Programs 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, assistance with activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, 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.

However, 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 a much costlier nursing home facility. This is to help the senior reduce dependence on family members. Functionally, the applicants must require nursing home level care, but be willing to live at home, in assisted living, or in adult foster care instead.

Currently, Arkansas provides three Medicaid Waiver programs.

DAAS ElderChoices Waiver – Adult day care, respite care, personal care, homemaker services, and adult foster care are just some of the benefits available via this program.

Living Choices Assisted Living Waiver – This wavier covers the cost care services at assisted living facilities, but 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 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 ElderChoices Waiver or the Living Choices Assisted Waiver. This program gives monthly cash allowances and counseling 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 family members as care providers. Applicants must meet disability status criteria in order to qualify for this program option.

As of 2017, to qualify for these Medicaid programs in the state of Arkansas, a single applicant cannot exceed $2,205 in monthly income. This amount is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Poverty Rate. The asset limit is set at $2,000 for an individual. 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.

 

State (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.

 

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 ones 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.