The 10 Best Home Care Agencies for Seniors in Fort Smith, AR for 2024
Fort Smith is a beautiful riverside city in Arkansas with a senior population comprising 15.1% of its 89,992 residents. The city has an exceptionally low cost of living, with health care ranking 14.4% below average. Additionally, it has a slightly higher number of physicians than usual and is home to several leading medical institutions, such as Mercy Hospital and the Fort Smith ER and Hospital. Home care is an option for seniors who need some nonmedical help. It is reasonably affordable in Fort Smith, averaging $4,176 per month — just below the national norm of $4,957. It provides personal care, light housekeeping and companionship for homebound individuals, whereas home health care includes skilled nursing and licensed medical services.
Below we've compiled a comprehensive directory of every home care provider in the Fort Smith area – complete with services offered and reviews from families who've actually used the service. In addition to our in-depth provider listings, we've compiled resources to help seniors and their families to access all the tools they need to age in place safely and gracefully.
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Home Care Agencies in Fort Smith, AR
Frankie's Senior Care and Sitting Service
P.O. BOX 724, Fort Smith, AR, 72901
"I am so glad that I found The Cutting Edge Senior Care. The care is FANTASTIC and the rates are reasonable. I know that the caregiver that Frankie sends to care for my parents is going to be Qualified and Caring. All her caregivers are State Certifie..."READ MORE
FirstLight HomeCare - Northwest Arkansas
1116 S Walton Blvd Suite 157, Bentonville, AR, 72712
"I used FirstLight to provide care for my wife who has Alzheimer's. The care was provided over a period of several months until my wife was able to move into a Memory Care facility for full time care. The service provided by FirstLight was mostly to..."READ MORE
4019 Massard, Room A, Fort Smith, AR, 72903
"We have tried and tried to get help for my dad who can be not so easy to get along with. Addus in FORT SMITH AR is absolutely answered prayers!! Tabitha is so helpful and my dad loves his aide Jessica. We can't say enough good things about the wonder..."READ MORE
Paying for Home Care in Fort Smith, AR
The Cost of Home Care in Fort Smith, AR
According to Genworth's 2021 Cost of Care Survey, home care averages $4,176 monthly in Fort Smith. While expenses in the city are comparable with the state average of $4,185, they're $781 less than the national norm. Comparing the cost of home care in Fort Smith to fees throughout Arkansas, Hot Springs is $114 more, but Jonesboro is $267 less. At $4,004, Pine Bluff is also highly affordable. However, home care is $781 more expensive in Fayetteville.
The Cost of Home Care vs. Other Senior Care Options in Fort Smith, AR
While home care is affordable in Fort Smith, it can still be worthwhile for seniors to compare options, as some can be cheaper yet still provide support and independence. Assisted living offers savings of up to $326 while providing similar services such as personal care and meal preparation. Home health care is $209 more expensive but includes access to medical services that may benefit individuals with chronic illnesses. Nursing homes offer the most intensive level of care, allowing seniors to access skilled nursing and medical treatments daily. However, they also provide the most expensive type of care in Fort Smith, costing $1,907 more than home care.
Home Health Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)
Financial Assistance for Home Care in Fort Smith, AR
Given the high cost of in-home care, many people use one or more forms of financial assistance to cover the expenses. Below, we explain some of the most common sources of financial help to pay for in-home care. If none of these options are available to you, you can reach out to your Area Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Center to learn about local resources.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-Term Care Insurance covers expenses related to senior care, including in-home care. Depending on the policy type, beneficiaries may receive a cash payment to use towards long-term care or reimbursement for qualifying long-term care expenses. Note that there are limitations, typically a maximum benefit of $150 per day, and exact coverage terms vary depending on the exact policy, so always check the details.
- Medicare: Medicare does not cover in-home care because it is classified as custodial or nonmedical care. However, some Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, which offer expanded benefits, may cover in-home custodial care.
- Medicaid: Medicaid coverage of in-home care varies between different states because it is not a federally mandated benefit. Currently, all states cover some in-home care services either through their standard Medicaid or a waiver program. The specific coverage rules are set individually by each state.
- Veterans' Benefits: The Aid and Attendance benefit is a monthly cash payment that beneficiaries can use to pay for senior care, including in-home care services. To qualify for A&A, Veterans must already receive the VA pension and meet several additional requirements, including needing assistance with activities of daily living. Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more.
- Reverse Mortgages: Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) are federally insured loans that are available to homeowners age 62 and over. Reverse mortgages allow you to access a tax-free portion of your home's equity in cash. Many seniors use reverse mortgages to finance their care expenses, including in-home care. Note that although there are no monthly payments due on reverse mortgage loans, borrowers have to repay the loan once the last surviving homeowner passes away, moves, or sells the home.
Fort Smith Home Care Resources
Home care services are only one of the pieces needed for seniors to gracefully age in place. There are many services and programs that are low-cost or free, that enable seniors to enjoy an independent lifestyle in the comfort of their own home, such as help with home modifications, meal delivery services, and more. Below, we’ve compiled a few of the most helpful resources in Fort Smith:
|Area Agency on Aging of Western Arkansas
|524 Garrison Avenue, P.O. Box 1724, Fort Smith, AR 72902
|The Area Agency on Aging of Western Arkansas is a nonprofit organization that provides a number of low-cost services to Sebastian County’s older residents. Representatives can assist seniors in finding local resources that can help them remain independent, such as financial support, in-home care and benefits counseling. Transportation to medical appointments is offered at no cost for those who qualify, and rides to shopping centers and similar destinations are also available in some areas.
|Sebastian County Homestead Credit and Tax Freeze
|35 South 6th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901
|Fort Smith offers multiple tax benefits for retirees with limited incomes. Property owners have access to Sebastian County’s Homestead Credit, which can reduce their annual tax obligation by up to $350. A related program can also help applicants save money on taxes by freezing the tax value of their homes, potentially protecting them from the effects of inflation. In this case, eligibility requirements include being over the age of 65 or having a qualifying disability.
|Senior Activity Centers
|1411 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72901
|Fort Smith’s Senior Activity Centers work to improve the lives of older adults in the area. Homebound individuals aged 65 or over may qualify for one hot meal per day delivered directly to their home. This service is available from Monday to Friday; donations are encouraged but not mandatory. Residents can also visit a nearby center to access free counseling, health screenings and recreational activities.
|1617 Zero Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901
|The Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council provides minor home modifications at no cost to help improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. Services include door and window sealing, duct maintenance, air leakage reduction, and insulation installation. Both property owners and tenants are eligible, and applicants may be subject to income limits depending on their household size. Priority is given to older adults and people with disabilities.
|Personal Care Services
|524 Garrison Avenue, P.O. Box 1724, Fort Smith, AR 72902
|This program, offered by the local Area Agency on Aging, provides assistance to Fort Smith residents who want to age safely in their own homes rather than move into a care facility. Seniors have access to multiple services that can provide respite to their families, including companionship, meal preparation and help with personal hygiene. Services can be paid for by the participant’s Medicaid plan or private health insurance.
Determining Your Loved One’s Need for In-Home Care
Aging can be a difficult process, and loved ones may not always ask for help – oftentimes it’s up to their family to evaluate their need for help around the house. While no two situations are exactly alike, this checklist can help you and your loved ones determine when it’s time to start the search for a home care provider.
Guidelines for Talking About In-Home Care
If you’ve determined that your loved one needs the assistance of a care provider in their home, it may be time for a difficult conversation. Handled correctly, however, this process can bring a family together and ensure that everyone’s concerns are addressed. Use this PDF as a starting point to help the conversation stay as positive and productive as possible.