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Just shy of 1.1 million Arkansas residents can use a senior discount at their favorite restaurant. In other words, more than one in three people who live in Arkansas are 50 or older. What can we learn from national and state data about how their lives compare to other seniors across the country?
In some ways, Arkansas is quite similar to the nation as a whole. For example, 35.8 percent of the state’s residents are 50 and older, compared to 35.3 percent nationally. And the median age in Arkansas (38.1 years) is similar to the overall U.S. median age of 38.5.
But in other ways, Arkansas is outside the norm. When it comes to areas like life expectancy, diversity and median income for seniors, Arkansas has measures that are quite a bit lower than the overall U.S. metrics. Of those, Arkansas falling behind in life expectancy and median income for seniors are possibly the biggest causes for concern.
*Includes Black, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or individuals of one or more other races, and Hispanic/Latinx people of any race.
Living Costs for Seniors in Arkansas
Arkansas has a housing index of 83.40, making it one of the cheaper states to retire in the United States. You can get a one bedroom apartment in Arkansas for an average of $540 a month (U.S. average of $825 a month), or a two bedroom apartment for an average of $687 a month (U.S. average of $1,027 a month). Briarcliff, Salesville, and Little Rock are some great cities where seniors retire in.
Let's get a better idea of the monthly costs of living in Arkansas for seniors. The average home health care costs are approximately $3,432 a month. Home health care services allow seniors to live in their own homes. Service aides help to keep the house clean, run day to day errands, and cook meals for the elderly.
Seniors requiring adult day care can expect to pay an average of $1,733 per month to stay at a supervised facility during the day. Keep in mind that adult day care does not include around the clock care, so it's best for seniors who are mostly independent but could use some social activities to keep them busy, and therapeutic and health services.
Elders needing more assistance with their day to day tasks may consider an assisted living facility in Arkansas. For an average monthly cost of $3,013 a month, seniors are able to receive personal care and health services.
Nursing homes are available throughout the state for those who need 24/7 supervision and care. The cost for a semi-private room is roughly $5,171 a month, while a private room is about $5,779 a month. All nursing homes provide residents with personal care, medication, housing, supervision, skilled nursing care 24/7, and therapies and rehabilitation. Compared to the national average, nursing home care in Arkansas is affordable.
Living Options for the Elderly in Arkansas
The senior living options in Arkansas are plentiful. Retirees can opt for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care depending on individual needs. See which one best suits your lifestyle by exploring each option below.
Arkansas has over 90 independent living facilities dispersed throughout the state. Independent living is perfect for seniors who are healthy and active, and don't require 24/7 nursing care. The average costs of independent living facilities range from $770 to $3,045 a month.
The state also offers plenty of apartment choices for seniors 55+ or 65+ depending on the community. These apartments usually include a kitchen, carpet, and two full baths in two bedroom apartments. Active senior communities may include other awesome amenities like fitness centers, walking trails, clubhouse, meeting rooms, and more for residents to enjoy.
Assisted living facilities are available throughout Arkansas to provide seniors with attentive caregivers, healthcare, access to local activities, and other social opportunities to really help them feel at home. Amenities will vary from place to place, but residents can expect to receive help with housekeeping duties, laundry, transportation, meal services, and 24-hour staffing to ensure safety.
The average cost of assisted living facilities in the state range from $1,400 to $5,538 depending on a variety of factors like location. The median comes out to roughly $3,013 a month. Generally speaking, Arkansas has lower assisted living costs compared to the national average.
Memory care is for those with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other ailments that affect a person's ability to remember things. Memory care facilities excel at identifying the issues of their patients and providing customized care to help each patient get through the day without excessive frustration brought on from memory loss. Memory care facilities are monitored all day and night to prevent patients getting lost outside or breaking down due to forgetting how to get back to their room. There are at least 7 memory care facilities in Arkansas, with an average cost of $3,792 per month.
Arkansas has the 6th highest percentage of seniors living in the state relative to its overall population. In 2000, 18.7% of the state's population comprised of citizens 60 years of age or older. Due to this, Arkansas has a wide range of adult day care centers, hospices, and respite care provided by 548 senior living providers.
The average monthly cost of adult day care in Arkansas is $1,733, which is significantly higher than neighboring states. Adult day care centers in Arkansas will keep seniors engaged physically, emotionally, and mentally. Senior activities such as daily walks, aquatics, challenging puzzles, art therapy, and more can be found in the adult day care centers of Arkansas.
Hospices are for the terminally ill, providing those approaching the end of their life the care they need to manage physical and emotional pain through counseling and medications. Arkansas has 64 hospice care facilities, with an average cost of $55,080 a year. Hospices will help those interested to learn how to qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance coverage of most, if not all of, the costs associated with the facility.
It is very common for a caregiver to get worn out from the around the clock care of a loved one, and enlisting the help of a respite care facility is an effective way to temporarily and lovingly care for a senior. There are 124 respite care facilities in Arkansas, with the monthly costs ranging from $4,785 to $9,614. The price range is large due to what the needs may be and for how long the facilities will be used. Arkansas families tend to take care of their own as much as possible, hence there are more respite care facilities here compared to other states of a similar size.