Arkansas has a large senior population, with those aged 65 and over accounting for nearly one in five of the state’s 3 million residents. To support this population, the Arkansas Division of Aging and Adult Services and the Department of Health extends and monitors numerous programs to enable older adults to age in place and remain an active part of their communities. In-home care, also referred to as attendant or companion care, costs $3,623 per month on average in Arkansas, which is considerably less than the national average of $4,290.

This guide provides a detailed overview of the cost of various senior care options in the state, including home care, adult day care, assisted living and nursing home care. It also outlines resources available to seniors and caregivers, including financial aid and information and referral services, the rules and regulations governing in-home care agencies and seniors’ most frequently asked questions.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Arkansas

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

Compared to the nation as a whole, Arkansas is among the more cost-effective options for in-home care. Attendant services in this state are about 17% cheaper at $3,623 monthly than the national average. In Arkansas, the cost of this type of care is near the median in comparison to its bordering states. Mississippi and Louisiana have lower month-to-month prices of $3,432 and $3,218, respectively. More expensive in-home care is typically found in Missouri and Oklahoma, where costs average $4,195 per month.

$3623

Arkansas

$4290

United States Average

$4195

Missouri

$3432

Mississippi

$3218

Louisiana

$4195

Oklahoma

Cost of Other Types of Care in Arkansas

Home-based care is a viable option for seniors who need some personal care services but wish to remain at home. Nonmedical in-home care services and home health care cost $3,623 monthly, making these types of care among the more expensive options in the state. Only nursing home care is more expensive, costing $5,505 monthly for a semi-private room. Assisted living, which offers personal care services in a community setting, is slightly more affordable than in-home care at $3,175 monthly. Adult day care is the most affordable option in Arkansas at $1,948 per month.

$3623

In-Home Care

$3623

Home Health Care

$1948

Adult Day Care

$3175

Assisted Living Facility

$5505

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of In-Home Care in Arkansas’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Arkansas

While seniors in Arkansas pay an average of $3,623 for in-home care, the exact cost for services varies widely across the state and depends on a few factors, such as cost of living and how many agencies are available in a given city. In Fort Smith and the capital city of Little Rock, the cost of care exceeds the statewide average at $3,813 per month. In Hot Springs, which is centrally located, this type of care costs $3,670 monthly. Jonesboro is the cheapest city for in-home care at $3,432 per month, and Fayetteville is the costliest at $4,385.

$3813

Little Rock Area

$4385

Fayetteville Area

$3432

Jonesboro

$3670

Hot Springs

$3813

Fort Smith

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Arkansas

ARChoices in Homecare

ARChoices in Homecare is a Medicaid program that provides home and community-based services to seniors and those with disabilities. These services enable individuals to avoid or delay nursing home admittance by helping them with everyday activities that they may no longer be able to do for themselves. Some services that this program covers include attendant care, home-delivered meals, personal emergency response systems, adult day services and respite care.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for this waiver program, applicants must be at least 65 years old or 18-64 and have a disability. They must also meet financial criteria, need at least one of the services covered under this program and meet admission criteria at the intermediate level for nursing home care.

How to Apply
To learn more about ARChoices in Homecare or to apply for this program, individuals should call the Choices in Living Resource Center at 866-801-3435 or contact their local Department of Human Services county office.

Independent Choices

The Independent Choices program is a demonstration program of Arkansas Medicaid that covers personal care services for seniors or adults with disabilities. This program provides training and counseling to help individuals care for themselves. It also gives participants a cash allowance that can be used to hire a personal attendant to assist with activities such as bathing and meal preparation or purchase items related to personal care. Care is self-directed, meaning that participants decide who to hire and what services are provided.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for this program, the applicant’s doctor must deem that this level of care is necessary. Additionally, the individual must be enrolled in a Medicaid category that covers personal care, and they must not be receiving hospice services.

How to Apply
To apply for this waiver program, seniors should contact the Choices in Living Resource Center by calling 866-801-3435 or contact their local DHS county office.

Money Follows the Person

Money Follows the Person is a federal program that works in partnership with Arkansas Medicaid. It was designed to help Medicaid-eligible seniors who are currently living in long-term care facilities move back into their community to receive services at home. Participants are assigned Intense Transition Managers who work with them to decide where they will live and develop a plan to help them transition to that environment. The program pays for the various expenses that an individual incurs when moving to a more independent situation. Some services covered by this program include therapeutic services, home modifications and 24-hour attendant care.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for MFP, applicants must be eligible for Medicaid for at least one day and live in a long-term care facility for at least 90 consecutive days.

How to Apply
For more information, seniors should contact the state’s MFP program administrator by calling 501-320-6577.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

PACE is a program for seniors that enables them to remain in their homes while receiving quality care. Currently, there are three PACE programs in Arkansas, including Total Life Healthcare, Complete Health with PACE and PACE of the Ozarks, each covering a specific service area. This program provides a wide variety of services to help participants live as independently as possible. Some services, such as therapy or dentistry, are provided in adult day health centers or medical offices. Other services, such as personal care and chore services, are provided in the participant’s home. PACE also covers transportation services, family and caregiver support, durable medical equipment and prescription drug assistance.

How Is Eligible?
To be eligible for PACE, applicants must be aged 55 years or older and live within one of the state’s PACE service areas. They must also require nursing home level care.

How to Apply
Seniors should contact their local PACE service provider directly to apply for services or call the National PACE Association at 703-535-1565 for more information.

More Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

While the above programs help many people finance in-home care, they will not cover all costs for everyone. There are other ways to pay for in-home care, including annuities, reverse mortgages, private insurance and out-of-pocket arrangements with siblings. Read Caring.com’s Guide to In-Home Care Costs to learn more about these alternative payment options.

Free and Low-Cost In-Home Care Resources in Arkansas

Arkansas seniors have access to numerous free and low-cost programs that can provide guidance on receiving quality in-home services. These include organizations that provide home-delivered meals, transportation and referrals.

ContactArea ServedServices Provided
Arkansas Area Agencies on AgingArea Agencies on Aging Contact InformationEntire StateArkansas has eight Area Agencies on Aging offices, each providing services that include home-delivered and congregate meals, medical transportation and case management.
Choices in Living Resource Center866-801-3435Entire StateThe Choices in Living Resource Center is an Aging and Disability Resource Center that connects Arkansas seniors with long-term care options. This center can also help seniors determine financial eligibility for Medicaid waiver programs that pay for in-home care.
Arkansas Department of Veterans501-683-2382Entire StateThe Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs serves Arkansas veterans and their eligible dependents by providing access to state and federal benefits, such as state park passes and hunting and fishing licenses. Through this department, veterans can apply for benefits that help cover attendant services such as the VA pension or the Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefit.
CareLink501-372-5300Central ArkansasCareLink is an Area Agency on Aging program that serves seniors and family caregivers in Central Arkansas, providing services such as home-delivered meals, Medicare prescription drug counseling, legal assistance, in-home respite care and personal care services.
Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition866-801-3435Entire StateArkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition is comprised of caregivers, respite providers and health services networks. It promotes awareness of and access to respite care options throughout the state.
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program870-741-1144Northwest ArkansasThe Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides low-income seniors in Arkansas with access to fresh, locally grown produce.
Senior Health Insurance Information Program800-224-6330Entire StateSHIIP helps Arkansas seniors save money on healthcare costs by offering free, unbiased advice on health insurance options. Counselors provide seniors with information regarding Medicare, Medigap plans, Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Arkansas

In Arkansas, in-home care is provided by private care agencies and is licensed and regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health. The department enforces guidelines regarding home caregiver training requirements, licensing applications and renewals and clients’ rights.

Scope of CarePrivate care agencies only provide nonmedical services for patients. These services include companion care, assistance with activities of daily living, hygiene or grooming.
Care Plan RequirementsAgencies that provide in-home care must perform an initial evaluation visit to determine the needs and condition of the client, what services will be provided and who will provide those services. The Aide Service Plan must also outline the scope and frequency of visits. At least annually, visits must be supervised by a registered nurse.
Medication Management RequirementsTrained in-home assistants may provide reminders for self-administered medications.
Staff Screening RequirementsPrior to hiring an employee, agencies must conduct a criminal history check to determine eligibility for employment.
Staff Training RequirementsPersonal care services can only be provided by aides who have completed an approved 40-hour training course. This course covers numerous topics, including body functions, communication skills, nutrition, ambulation, oral hygiene, transfer techniques, meal preparation and nail and skin care. Additionally, aides must receive 12 hours of ongoing training annually. Some caregivers are exempt from these training requirements, including those who have worked for at least a year in a hospital, home health agency, long-term care facility or hospice. Certified nursing assistants, relatives of the patient, registered nurses, physicians and licensed social workers all qualify as caregivers.
Medicaid CoverageMedicaid pays for in-home care under the ARChoices in Homecare waiver program and the Independent Choices demonstration waiver.
Reporting AbuseSuspected cases of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation should be reported to Adult Protective Services by calling 800-482-8049.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does in-home care cost in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, in-home care costs $3,623 per month, which is considerably lower than the average national monthly rate of $4,290.

Does Arkansas Medicaid pay for in-home care?

Arkansas Medicaid covers in-home care via two waiver programs, including the ARChoices in Homecare waiver and the Independent Choices waiver. To be eligible for services under these waivers, applicants must meet residency, income, asset and functional ability guidelines.

Are there programs to cover home modifications in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, home modifications for seniors receiving in-home care may be covered under the ARChoices waiver program. These modifications help individuals navigate their homes more easily and include items such as wheelchair ramps and grab bars.

Does Medicare pay for in-home care?

Original Medicare doesn’t cover in-home care for those who only require personal care and don’t need skilled care. However, some Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered by private health insurance companies, may provide coverage for personal care services.

What types of services does a home care aide provide?

In Arkansas, home care aides provide companionship, assistance with daily living activities, meal preparation, mobility assistance and basic housekeeping and laundry.

Home Care Services in Arkansas (110)