Assisted Living in Arkansas
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Families looking for assisted living in Arkansas (AR) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 95 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 17 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Arkansas will pay $3,037 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Arkansas
Assisted living communities in Arkansas may be referred to as “residential long-term care facilities” or simply “residential care facilities.” The state differentiates between two levels of care. Level I assisted living communities are for seniors who are fairly independent and need only an occasional hand with the activities of daily living. A Level II community is designed for seniors who require more care than a Level I community provides but do not need the level of care given in a nursing home.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Arkansas
Currently, Arkansas does not have any non-Medicaid programs to help cover the costs of assisted living. However, the federal government does provide a benefit that may be used to help cover room and board at a licensed assisted living community.
Living Choices Assisted Living Waiver
Arkansas’ Medicaid program provides personal care services through the Living Choices Assisted Living Waiver. The Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services manages this waiver program with the goal of keeping elderly and disabled citizens out of nursing homes by delivering supportive services at assisted living residences.
Who Is Eligible?
Arkansas state residents age 65 and older are eligible for the Living Choices Assisted Living Waiver. Applicants must demonstrate a medical need for care or services that are offered by the waiver, which includes assistance with activities of daily living. Income limits are set at no more than 300 percent of the Social Security Income Federal Benefit Rate. Each applicant is typically allowed up to $2,000 in assets, though married couples and non-applicant spouses can make figuring asset criteria more complex.
How to Apply
Seniors interested in applying can call or visit their local Arkansas Department of Human Services office or call the Division of Aging and Adult Services at 501-682-2441 for more information.
Supplemental Security Income – Category G, which may also be referred to as SSI-G, is a need-based program that provides a monthly financial benefit for low-income seniors. While this benefit won't completely cover living costs, it can be put toward the cost of assisted living.
Who is Eligible?
SSI-G has very strict income and asset guidelines. Eligible seniors have very low countable income and no more than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for married couples).
How to Apply
To apply for SSI-G, seniors can call or visit their local Social Security office.
More Ways to Finance Assisted Living
While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Arkansas
Arkansas has a number of free resources and programs that are available for seniors. The resources can help seniors determine what types of financing options are available to them.
Arkansas Area Agencies on Aging
Area Agencies on Aging is a nationwide network that is comprised of over 600 organizations. These organizations provide free resources to older adults. Arkansas is divided into eight regions, with a director serving each region. Seniors can reach out to AAA to receive information about long-term care options, support programs and meal and transportation services.
1510 Rock Springs Road, Harrison, AR 72602
870-741-1144 / 1-800-432-9721 / TDD: 870-741-1346
3998 Harrison Street PO Box 2637, Batesville, AR 72503
870-612-3000 / TDD: 1-800-382-3205
2005 East Highland Drive PO Box 5035, Jonesboro, AR 72403
870-972-5980 / 1-800-467-3278
709 East 8th Avenue PO Box 8569, Pine Bluff, AR 71611
870- 543- 6300
700 Riverfront Drive PO Box 5988, North Little Rock, AR 72119
501-372-5300/688-7437 / TDD: 1-800-482-6359
905 West Grand Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71913
501-321-2811 / 1-800-467-2170
600 Columbia Road 11 East, Magnolia, AR 71754-1863
870-234-7410 / TDD: 1-800-272-2127
524 Garrison Avenue PO Box 1724, Fort Smith, AR 72902
479-783-4500 / 1-800-320-6667
Arkansas has an extensive network that helps military veterans and their spouses find and finance senior care. These offices can help seniors determine what types of care their current benefits will cover and what additional benefits they may be eligible to receive.
Local Social Security offices are where seniors can learn about their eligibility and benefits and receive help applying for programs.
151 Dry Kiln Rd, Batesville, AR 72501
1-866-816-5651 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
1403 S Division St, Blytheville, AR 72315
1-866-842-6638 or TTY: 1-870-763-7037
2475 Christina Ln, Conway, AR 72034
1-855-727-3599 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
2600 W Hillsboro, El Dorado, AR 71730
1-866-526-9254 or TTY: 1-870-862-8340
2153 E. Joyce Blvd., Fayetteville, AR 72703
1-877-694-5493 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
965 Holiday Dr, Forrest City, AR 72335
1-866-964-2043 or TTY: 1-870-633-5865
6801 Dallas Street, Ft Smith, AR 72903
1-866-931-8374 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
131 W Industrial Pk Rd, Harrison, AR 72601
1-877-512-3851 or TTY: 1-870-741-6432
112 Corporate Terrace, Hot Springs, AR 71913
1-855-531-1685 or TTY: 1-501-525-2311
1809 Latourette Drive, Jonesboro, AR 72404
1-866-842-7369 or TTY: 1-870-935-7451
700 W Capitol Street, Little Rock, AR 72201
1-866-593-0933 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
955 Wallace Knob Rd, Mountain Home, AR 72653
1-888-226-3232 or TTY: 1-870-425-6202
3511 Market Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601
1-866-563-9693 or TTY: 1-870-535-9527
2708 E Parkway Drive, Russellville, AR 72802
1-877-445-0827 or TTY: 1-479-968-7749
701 Airport Loop, Searcy, AR 72143
1-855-686-1467 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
3608 East Kiehl Ave, Sherwood, AR 72120
1-877-512-3854 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
202b Shopping Way Blvd, West Memphis, AR 72301
1-866-627-6994 or TTY: 1-870-735-0143
The Arkansas Assisted Living Ombudsman Program advocates on behalf of seniors and their families. If there are incidents of senior abuse, neglect or mistreatment, the ombudsman can act as a mediator to help resolve disputes and protect the interests of seniors.
To learn more about the Arkansas Assisted Living Ombudsman Program, click here.
1410 SE 14th Street, P.O. Box 1567, Bentonville, AR 72712
1-888-268-3610 or 479-273-9424
1508 Rock Springs Road, P.O. Box 1847, Harrison, AR 72602
1-877-286-3621 or 870-743-1623
3998 Harrison Street, P.O. Box 2637, Batesville, AR 72503
1-800-382-3205 or 870-612-3000
1410 SE 14th Street, P.O. Box 5035, Jonesboro, AR 72401
1-888-311-2238 or 870-336-2260
P.O. Box 8569, Pine Bluff, AR 71611
1-800-264-3260 or 870-543-6300
706 West 4th Street, P.O. Box 5988, North Little Rock, AR 72119
1-800-482-6359 or 501-372-5300
905 West Grand Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71913
1-800-467-2170 or 501-321-2811
915 S Arkansas Avenue, Russellville, AR 72801
1-800-467-2171 or 479-967-9300
600 Columbia, P.O. Box 1863, Magnolia, AR 71753
524 Garrison Avenue, P.O. Box 1724, Fort Smith, AR 72902
1-800-320-6667 or 479-783-5550 ext. 2334
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Arkansas
Assisted living communities in Arkansas have state-enforced rules and regulations to ensure that the facilities are clean and well-maintained and the residents receive proper care. The Arkansas Department of Human Services, the Division of Medical Services and the Office of Long-Term Care license and regulate the state’s assisted living communities to ensure compliance.
Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements
When residents are admitted, the assisted living community is required to conduct a thorough assessment to determine their care needs. This assessment must be conducted on an annual basis, ensuring that as residents' needs change, their care plan changes to accommodate.
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
In Arkansas, an assisted living community cannot admit or retain someone who is not independently mobile. Every resident must have the physical and mental ability to leave the building within three minutes. Communities also cannot admit a senior who has a feeding or intravenous tube, is completely incontinent or needs nursing services beyond what the community provides on a day-to-day basis.
Residents cannot pose a danger to themselves or to others, and they cannot be admitted if they have a mental illness or substance addiction. Finally, a community can turn away a prospective resident if that person’s religious, cultural or dietary regimens cannot be reasonably met.
A resident may only be discharged if the community can no longer meet medical needs.
While some states allow residents to sign a waiver of the admission policy, in Arkansas, residents don’t have that option.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
In a Level I assisted living community, the law requires that the community provides 24-hour supervision by an awake staff. The community must also be able to offer assistance if a resident needs emergency care at any time. Staff members are to assist as necessary to ensure that residents can participate in social and recreational activities, as well as provide assistance with the activities of daily living, with arranging transportation, laundry service and medication assistance as needed.
In a Level II community, there must be a 24-hour awake staff that actively provides direct care services. These services include mobility assistance, assistance with eating meals, other activities of daily living and medication assistance.
In Arkansas, assisted living communities must offer three meals, snacks in between meals and fluids throughout the day. Meals should be no more than five hours apart, and there can be a maximum of 14 hours between the evening meal and the following breakfast.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Arkansas has a Medicaid State Plan, which covers personal care services provided in an assisted living community. If seniors intend to use Medicaid to help cover their care, they should confirm that the community they’ve chosen will accept payment from the program.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Every unit has to be an adequate size and be configured in such a way that residents can live as independently as possible, with or without assistance. Units should provide accommodations for sleeping, sitting, dressing and attending to personal hygiene. Additionally, there should be space for storing, preparing, serving and eating food, storing clothes and other personal items, handling personal paperwork and correspondence and entertaining visitors.
Apartment units and rooms must be wheelchair-accessible and usable by residents who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
Apartments must have a lockable door and have a separate bathroom and kitchen area. There must be a small refrigerator and microwave in each unit. Units can have no more than two occupants.
Level II communities must have a physically distinct section or wing in which residents live. Every apartment or unit must be single-occupancy unless two consenting adults or married couples have requested and agreed in writing to share an apartment. There is a maximum of two people for each unit.
Medication Management Regulations
In a Level I assisted living community, staff members are permitted to help residents with taking oral medication. Assistance includes bringing the resident the container and opening the container in the resident’s presence and with their consent. If the resident is physically unable to handle the medication but is cognitively able to take it, the staff member is permitted to assist the resident in taking the medication out of the container and take it, so long as the resident has given consent and permission.
In a Level II community, licensed nursing personnel may administer medication. These assisted living communities must have a consulting pharmacist on staff.
Every assisted living community in Arkansas must have a full-time certified administrator who is on site and on duty during normal business hours. The administrator is responsible for the community’s day-to-day operations and for ensuring that the community is in compliance with the state’s rules and regulations. In larger communities, a second full-time or part-time administrator may be hired.
In addition to this, Level II communities must have at least one RN on staff and employ or contract with LPNs and CNAs who provide direct care. The RN doesn’t have to be on site full-time, but they have to be available by phone or pager. One person may be both the administrator and the community’s registered nurse.
Arkansas has specific staffing ratios that communities are required to follow. In a Level I community, there should be at least one day staff member for every 16 residents, one evening staff member for every 32 residents and one night staff member for every 32 residents. In a Level II community, there has to be at least one day staff member for every 15 residents and one staff member per 25 residents during the evening and night hours. There cannot be less than two staff members at any given time.
Staff Training Requirements
Every staff member, whether employed by the community or serving as a contractor, is required to go through orientation and training within seven days of the hire date. This training includes topics such as patients’ rights, building safety and emergency response preparation, sanitation and food safety, and the job’s specific duties.
Within 30 days of their hire date, staff members must take a training class that covers medication assistance and monitoring, cognitive impairment and communicable diseases.
Within 180 days, staff members should receive sensitivity and communication skills training and a review of the aging process.
In addition to this initial training, staff members are required to receive at least six hours a year of ongoing education.
Background Checks for ALR Staff in Arkansas
Administrators are required to conduct a complete criminal background check on every new hire. Prospective caregivers are ineligible for hire if they have any record of abuse, mistreatment or neglect of a person or have any conviction that has to do with the operation of a long-term care community.
Every staff member should be rechecked every five years.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Every staff member in an Arkansas assisted living community receives training on how to identify elder abuse. This includes physical, emotional or sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect and mistreatment. In Arkansas, assisted living community staff members are mandated reporters who are required by law to report instances of elder abuse to the community administrator, who is then legally required to report them to the local law enforcement agency as well as the Office of Long-Term Care of the Division of Medical Services of the Department of Human Services.
Assisted Living Facilities in Arkansas
Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Arkansas
Caring.com’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.