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Independent Living in Arkansas

Located in the southern central portion of the United States, Arkansas is noted as one of the top states where seniors can live comfortably when they retire, according to USA Today. Social Security retirement income is not taxed, and property taxes are low. The cost of living in Arkansas is also much lower than the national average, so seniors can expect to pay less for groceries, healthcare, housing and transportation. The state is home to multiple hot springs attractions, including Bathhouse Row and the Garvan Woodland Gardens. There are mountain biking tours in Bentonville and scavenger hunts in Little Rock. With 217 sunny days per year, Arkansas offers plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring.

Sometimes referred to as retirement communities, independent living typically provides the lowest level of assistance for retirees. They are best suited for active seniors who are self-sufficient and can maintain their own daily responsibilities but occasionally need help with tasks. They offer services like housekeeping, meals, transportation and recreational activities. In Arkansas, independent living costs around $2,275 per month.

This guide covers the cost of independent living in the area and provides a list of resources for seniors.

The Cost of Independent Living in Arkansas

When trying to decide how to pay for independent living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, Caring.com has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of independent living in Arkansas and its 0 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in Arkansas's Top Cities

The $2,764 monthly rate seniors pay in Arkansas is only an average. Independent living prices vary by location and individual facility. Average costs in Jonesboro run $2,487 a month, while seniors in Little Rock pay an average of $2,713. Seniors in Hot Springs can expect to pay $1,842, while costs in Fort Smith are lower at $1,620.

Arkansas

$2,764

Jonesboro

$2,487

Hot Springs

$1,842

Little Rock

$2,713

Fort Smith

$1,620

Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Independent Living in Arkansas

The cost of independent living has gone up in Arkansas by 28% from 2022-24. In just that period, average prices rose from $2,304 a month to a projected $2,944. National rates rose during the same period by just over 13%, from $2,810 to $3,162. Other states show a range of changes. Texas' prices rose from $2,354 to 2024's estimated $2,435, while Oklahoma priced went up from $2,284 to $2,667. Costs actually fell in Louisiana and Missouri, in the latter by $80 a month and in the former by $857.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
Arkansas$2,304$2,764$2,944
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162
Texas$2,354$2,472$2,435
Missouri$2,989$2,822$2,909
Louisiana$3,321$2,313$2,464
Oklahoma$2,284$2,370$2,667

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

In Arkansas, independent living averages $2,764 per month, providing a community setting for seniors who can live independently. However, this isn't the only option for care. For those needing more support, assisted living, at an average cost of $3,840 per month, offers help with daily tasks. Memory care facilities, at a monthly average of $5,056, offer specialized 24-hour care for those with conditions such as Alzheimer's or dementia. The best option will depend on a senior's specific needs and circumstances. 

Assisted Living

$3,840

Memory Care

$5,056

Independent Living

$2,764

Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in Arkansas?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in Arkansas.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Paying for Independent Living in Arkansas

Independent living is not covered by most insurance policies, instead, seniors must pay for this service out of pocket. Typical ways to pay for this service include Social Security benefits and pensions, annuity payments, housing assistance and personal funds, such as savings. Some seniors pay for assisted living with Supplemental Security Income or SSI. This income is available to seniors 65 and older who are blind or disabled who live on a limited income and have little assets. 

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Arkansas

There are many resources in Arkansas that assist seniors in their retirement. Caring.com has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Area Agency on Aging800-467-2171Arkansas Area Agencies on Aging connect seniors with resources designed to maintain a high quality of life as their needs increase. They empower seniors to age in place with programs such as Meals on Wheels, senior centers and transportation assistance. In addition, AAAs protect senior rights through long-term care ombudsmen programs and by educating seniors on government assistance. Other critical services include connecting families with caregiver resources and community programs that can serve seniors.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Arkansas provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Arkansas seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Meals on WheelsArkansas' Meals on Wheels program seeks to solve food insecurity among seniors who are unable to take care of their nutritional needs due to limited financial resources, mobility or access to grocery stores. Volunteers deliver nutritious meals to seniors' doors while also providing a friendly visit and safety check. Administered through regional Area Agencies on Aging and local senior centers, the program is open to adults aged 60 and older who are homebound or unable to prepare their own meals.
Arkansas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed to support low-income seniors aged 60 and older by offering financial aid for purchasing nutritious food. Monthly benefits are distributed through an electronic benefits card that can be used at farmers markets and eligible retailers. This allows seniors to maintain a balanced diet and improve their overall health and well-being. SNAP also connects seniors with resources, such as nutrition education and senior meal programs.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Arkansas collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Increasing Capabilities Access Network800-828-2799Increasing Capabilities Access Network provides seniors and other Arkansas residents with free and low-cost assistive technology, including medical equipment. Its AT Reuse program reclaims used items and distributes them to those in need.
Arkansas Village Loan Closet501-922-2888Hot Springs residents can borrow medical equipment for free from the Village Loan Closet. Loans are made on an initial three-month term which can be renewed if required. Seniors can find a range of equipment, including canes, walkers, shower chairs, toilet risers, wheelchairs and commodes.
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas' Health Equipment Loan Program877-372-5151Common types of medical equipment found through Goodwill Industries of Arkansas' Health Equipment Loan Program include wheelchairs, rollators and shower chairs. Equipment is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and inventory is dependent on community donations. Seniors can participate by visiting any Goodwill location throughout Arkansas.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Arkansas have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Section 504 Home Repair ProgramHomeowners who live in rural areas of Arkansas can apply for the Section 504 Home Repair Program. This program provides grants to seniors aged 62 and older of up to $10,000. The funds can be used to remove health and safety hazards to make the home safe to live in.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Arkansas seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program800-467-2171The Arkansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program helps ensure that assisted living residents understand their rights under federal laws and regulations. Ombudsmen investigate complaints about long-term care services filed by residents, caregivers and community members; advocate for improvements in long-term care services; and when necessary, escalate concerns to local law enforcement officials.
Low Income TaxPayer Clinic800-952-9243Seniors often qualify for free tax help through Legal Aid of Arkansas and its low-income tax clinic. This not only helps seniors with their tax returns but also assists with free legal representation when elderly adults have IRS tax disputes.

Senior Centers

Senior centers in Arkansas bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Choices In Living Resource Center866-801-3435Operated by the Arkansas Department of Human Services and open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Choices In Living Resource Center provides callers with information on long-term care services. Operators can help callers learn about available care services, Medicaid programs, assistive technologies, prescription drug plans and help for family caregivers.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Arkansas help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alzheimer's Association Arkansas Chapter800-272-3900The local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association maintains a directory of programs and services to assist seniors in Little Rock living with dementia and their caregivers, especially those who are unpaid. With the help of volunteers, the organization is able to provide respite care to family caregivers in addition to its education and advocacy efforts.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Arkansas help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Arkansas resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Homestead Tax Credit and Homeowner Property Tax ReliefArkansas seniors who own their own homes may be eligible for an annual homestead tax credit of up to $375 per year. In addition, adults aged 65 or older or who are disabled could be entitled to an additional tax relief with the value of their property being frozen for tax purposes.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Arkansas retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)501-682-0744Arkansas' Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income seniors cover the costs of heating and cooling their homes. Residents could be eligible to receive regular benefits or a crisis benefit which prevents disconnection from energy or fuel supplies.

Veteran's Services

Arkansas retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs501-683-2382The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs works to ensure that all veterans and their eligible dependents have access to county, state and federal benefits including health care, enhanced pension programs and burial honors. Veteran service officers can provide assistance to those applying for VA Aid and Attendance and Housebound, two VA pension programs that can be used to help cover assisted living expenses.
Arkansas VA Benefits and Health CareArkansas's VA Benefits and Health Care provides services for seniors at medical centers in Fayetteville, Little Rock and North Little Rock as well as at community-based outpatient clinics throughout the state. If veterans meet the service and age criteria, they can access medical, social and specialized programs for seniors. Services offered include homemaking, home health, assistance with pension applications and nursing home/residential care.

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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