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Arkansas dementia care is ranked second in the nation in terms of affordability, only behind West Virginia in terms of average monthly prices for the state. The rooms are of exceptional value, thousands of dollars cheaper each month and year compared to some of the most expensive states for memory care.

Memory Care in Arkansas - Cheapest & Most Expensive Places

Arkansas is attractive to many families that simply can’t afford the high prices for memory care in parts of the northeast, west, and Midwest. The southern states of the U.S. are known for affordable senior living, and Arkansas is clearly one of the best.

The Top 5 Most Affordable Cities for Memory Care in Arkansas based on monthly rents are:

  1. Hot Springs, AR: $4,075
  2. Fort Smith, AR: $4,175
  3. Fayetteville, AR: $4,225
  4. Maumelle, AR: $4,555
  5. Little Rock, AR: $4,615

Arkansas Counties Costs for Alzheimer’s Care (monthly rents):

  1. Garland County: $4,075
  2. Sebastian County: $4,200
  3. Washington County: $4,230         
  4. Pulaski County: $4,605

Arkansas Memory Care Regulations

Arkansas has a considerable number of regulations in place for memory care facilities. These regulations cover everything from licensing to staffing levels and specifics of residential units. Here is an overview of some of the main regulations around memory care facilities in Arkansas.

State Licensing

Licensing for memory care facilities is handled by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, specifically the Division of Medical Services Office of Long Term Care.

Memory care facilities in Arkansas are any assisted living facilities with an Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit. They can be licensed as Level 1 or Level 2, depending on the level of care they offer. Level 1 facilities have to offer assistance with daily activities, social activities, transportation services, housekeeping, daily meals, and medication administration assistance.

Level 2 facilities offer a higher level of care for patients with more advanced memory care needs. These facilities are required to have a registered nurse as part of their staff so they can offer more specialized services along with all the other services level 1 facilities offer.

General Regulations

All residents of Arkansas memory care homes will sign an occupancy agreement before moving into a care facility. This agreement will detail the services provided by the facility, including what’s paid for under the contract, policies about medication and care, rules for the facility, the refund policy, criteria for discharge, and additional services available for an extra charge.

In addition to this agreement, memory care facilities in Arkansas also have to provide a statement that details how care is provided to residents, the rights of residents at the facility, and other care policies for the facility.

Medication regulations can vary based on the level of the facility. While level 1 facilities are only authorized to assist residents with self-administering medications, level 2 facilities are able to administer medication to residents who cannot self-administer their medication. If this is the case, a consulting pharmacist must be on staff. Medication can only be administered by a registered nurse.

Facility Regulations

Arkansas requires that all assisted living facilities have separate units for residents. These should be independent units that each include their own separate kitchens in a distinct area of the unit. For it to be considered an independent unit, it needs to be able to support independent living, including being set up for:

  • Sleeping
  • Personal hygiene
  • Dressing
  • Sitting
  • Preparing, cooking, serving, and storing food
  • Storing personal items
  • Desk use
  • Daytime visitors

Units are for no more than 2 people each, and each must consent to live with the other or else they should be allowed to occupy a unit individually. They should be fully wheelchair accessible, as well as being set up to accommodate other disabilities as needed. In case of difficulties, each unit needs to be equipped with a call system to contact staff for assistance.

Lastly, level 2 facilities should have separate units for those who need more medical assistance or nursing level care. State-approved measures should be put in place around the facility to prevent wandering.

Regulations for Staffing

Every memory care facility in Arkansas is required to follow specific staffing regulations that dictate the ratio of staff to residents as well as the type of staff hired and working in the facility. According to regulations, every facility must:

  • Employ at least one full-time administrator certified as an RCF, ALF, or nursing home administrator
  • For larger facilities with more residents, a second certified administrator must be employed
  • Have as many staff, administrators, and on-site managers on duty and awake to provide services to residents at any time during the day
  • Keep at least one qualified staff member awake and on duty during all 24 hours of the day

Level 1 and 2 facilities have some different requirements in terms of staffing. Both must maintain the same staffing ratios, but level 1 facilities must also have relief staff members available in facilities with more than 16 residents. For level 2 facilities, there must be at least 1 staff member for every 15 residents during the day. This ratio changes at night, with a minimum of 1 staff member for every 25 residents at night. Regardless of the time, there should always be a minimum of 2 people on duty at all times, with at least one being a registered CNA.

All staff working in a memory care facility in Arkansas will undergo training and education as part of the hiring process, including highly specific dementia and memory care training. Every year, staff will receive continuous education in memory care.

Arkansas Medicaid Memory Care Programs

Medicaid in Arkansas can be used to help cover many of the costs associated with memory care in an assisted living facility. While most waiver programs do not cover room and board, they can often be applied to other services offered by memory care facilities, or other support services needed by the patient.

The main programs that can be applied to memory care include the living choices assisted living waive, personal care program, and the elder choices waiver.

Living Choices Assisted Living Waiver

This waiver program is for Medicaid-eligible people who need daily assistance, but can still be cared for outside of a nursing home setting. Under this waiver program, recipients can have the costs for services like housekeeping and personal care covered.

Personal Care Program

Facilities that are part of the personal care program in Arkansas give Medicaid recipients another option for covering the costs of services other than room and board at an assisted living facility. Costs covered can include those involved in taking care of physical needs, such as paying for caretaking assistance that allows an individual to live independently for longer.

To be eligible, an individual needs to be Medicaid eligible and able to direct their own self-care at the memory care facility. This program is only available at facilities that are enrolled in the Personal Care program through Medicaid.

ARChoices Waiver

The ARChoices wavier program, also called the Elder Choices program, is for Medicaid-eligible adults who are in need of assistance with daily living activities, including one of the following:

  • Adult day services
  • Attendant care
  • Adult day health services
  • Personal emergency response system

Some other services may be available through the program to support adults living more independently, whether they’re receiving care at home or at an assisted living facility like a memory care facility.

Medicaid Eligibility in Arkansas

To be eligible for Medicaid in the state of Arkansas, applicants need to meet a few basic criteria, including income criteria. Applicants must have income of no more than $2,742 per month, with countable assets of no more than $2,000 per applicant. Countable assets usually do not include the primary residence and other assets for daily use. In cases where both spouses are applying for Medicaid simultaneously, asset limits are $3,000 total, with assets being counted together. If only one spouse is applying for Medicaid, the other cannot have assets exceeding $148,260.

For Medicaid to cover any of the costs associated with assisted living, applicants must also be in need of nursing home levels of care.

Admissions Requirements for Memory Care in Arkansas

Level 1 and level 2 facilities in Arkansas have different requirements for who can be admitted. No facility is able to admit a resident that requires more care than they’re licensed or able to provide.

For level facilities, residents cannot be admitted if they:

  • Need 24-hour care from a registered nurse (some exceptions apply)
  • Are fully bedridden
  • Have mobility issues that require assistance the facility is unable to provide
  • Present an immediate threat to themselves or others
  • Cannot self-administer medicines

For level 2 facilities, residents can be admitted who need more advanced care because of the presence of registered nurses. Still, there are limits to who can be admitted as a resident. Residents cannot be admitted if they:

  • Require 24-hour service from a registered nurse
  • Have a terminal condition or serious condition that lasts more than 14 days, unless it’s certified that the facility can care for them appropriately
  • Are in need of transfer assistance that the facility is not able to provide
  • Present an immediate threat to others or themselves

Questions to Ask Arkansas Memory Care Facilities During Your Tour

It’s a difficult choice to choose to relocate a loved one to a memory care facility. To make the choice a little easier, select a facility that has everything your loved one needs to thrive, even when you can’t be there with them.

When touring Arkansas memory care facilities to check out their suitability, ask questions like these:

1. What services do you offer for entertainment and mental stimulation?

Memory care facilities offer a wide variety of different entertainment services to give residents the opportunity to keep themselves involved socially. Look for activities your loved one would enjoy, as well as a wide enough variety to give them options for both indoor and outdoor activities.

2. What types of floor plans are available for residents?

Some assisted living facilities may have different floorplans for residents to choose from, as well as floorplans to accommodate varying levels of independence. Ask about the floorplans available at the facility to see how they can adjust to the needs of your loved one as they change.

3. What safety plans are in place in case of emergency?

Memory care facilities need to have concrete plans in place to assist all residents in case of an emergency. Make sure their safety procedures are in place so your loved one will be taken care of if there is ever any emergency in the facility.

4. What advanced care services do you provide?

Not all memory care facilities offer the same levels of care for your loved one. As their memory condition progresses, they may require more support. It’s helpful if the facility they’re in can support their needs for as long as possible to avoid relocation and promote independence.

5. What is the visitation policy?

Facilities can have different visitation policies from each other. Make sure you’re aware of when you can visit your loved one, if you can dine with them during visits, which social activities you can do with them, and how you can stay in contact with them outside of visiting hours.

While no questions can give you a perfect picture of how life will be for your loved on in a specific memory care facility, it’s good to get as much information as possible before you make a choice.

Arkansas Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care - Services

Arkansas Alzheimer’s care homes may be unconventionally cheap but that does not make them poor in amenities and services. Arkansas, along with most parts of the south, is known for its hospitality and it is clearly evident in senior care. The trained staff that work with residents at memory care communities on a daily basis are very caring, helpful, loving and overall amazing people. They really care about the people they provide treatment and assistance for, and that most definitely stands out.

Arkansas, along with other parts of the country, is also starting to introduce varying degrees of treatment for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It includes different forms of outreach and activities based on the stage of the disease. For example, residents that are demonstrating early stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s will receive a far different daily experience compared to someone in the later stages of the disease.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be presented in a variety of functions, and they are often combined together. Individual treatment and work with residents are mixed with social engagements and group activities. A mixture of leisure games or events is combined with activities that help stimulate the brain and encourage communication. You shouldn’t be afraid as a family of a loved one to get the exact details on the type of treatment the dementia care provider plans to offer.

Along with continuing the trend of high-quality care and service, Alzheimer’s care homes for dementia in Arkansas provide well balanced daily meals, clean rooms (semi-private and private), oversized showers, day rooms for visitation and other events, along with places for residents to interact with other residents.

Common Questions About Memory Care in Arkansas

1. What is memory care, and how does it differ from other types of senior living?

Memory care in Arkansas is specialized senior living designed for individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia. It offers tailored support, cognitive activities, and a secure environment. Unlike other senior living types, memory care focuses on addressing the unique needs of those with memory-related conditions. Cities like Little Rock, Springdale, and Conway have memory care communities.

2. What services are provided in memory care communities in Arkansas?

Memory care communities in Arkansas offer 24/7 supervision, assistance with daily tasks, medication management, and memory-enhancing activities. These communities, found in cities such as Fayetteville and Hot Springs, provide a safe and structured environment to support residents' cognitive and physical well-being.

3. How do I know if my loved one needs memory care in Arkansas?

Signs that your loved one may need memory care in Arkansas include increasing memory loss, difficulty with daily tasks, changes in mood or behavior, and wandering. Consult with healthcare professionals in cities such as Little Rock and Fort Smith to assess your loved one's needs and explore appropriate options.

4. Are memory care communities in Arkansas equipped to handle medical emergencies?

Yes, memory care communities in Arkansas have trained staff to handle medical emergencies. They are well-prepared to respond to situations that may arise due to residents' cognitive and physical conditions. Communities in cities such as Conway and Jonesboro prioritize residents' safety and well-being.

5. Can residents in memory care communities continue to engage in social activities?

Yes, memory care communities in Arkansas provide structured social activities designed to stimulate cognitive function and foster social interaction. These activities, offered in cities like Rogers and Springdale, are adapted to residents' abilities and interests, promoting engagement and well-being.

6. How can I prepare for the transition to a memory care community in Arkansas?

Preparing for the transition to a memory care community in Arkansas involves discussing the move with your loved one, familiarizing them with the new environment, and ensuring their personal belongings provide comfort and familiarity. Cities such as Hot Springs and Bentonville offer resources to assist families during this transition.

7. Are memory care communities regulated in Arkansas?

Yes, memory care communities in Arkansas are regulated to ensure the safety and well-being of residents with memory-related conditions. State agencies, such as the Arkansas Department of Health, oversee regulations and licensing. Communities in cities like Little Rock and Conway adhere to these standards.

8. What role do caregivers play in memory care communities?

Caregivers in memory care communities in Arkansas play a crucial role in providing personalized assistance, engaging residents in activities, and supporting their emotional well-being. These caregivers, found in cities such as Fayetteville and Jonesboro, are trained to address the unique needs of individuals with memory-related conditions.

9. Are memory care communities in Arkansas designed to prevent wandering?

Yes, memory care communities in Arkansas are designed with secure layouts and features to prevent wandering among residents. These communities, located in cities such as Little Rock and Fort Smith, prioritize safety by implementing measures such as locked entrances and outdoor spaces designed to minimize the risk of wandering.

10. How do memory care communities promote residents' quality of life?

Memory care communities in Arkansas promote residents' quality of life by offering personalized care plans, engaging activities, and sensory stimulation. Cities like Springdale and Hot Springs feature communities that prioritize creating a comfortable and supportive environment that enhances residents' well-being.

11. Are there memory care communities that provide individualized care plans?

Yes, memory care communities in Arkansas develop individualized care plans tailored to each resident's needs and preferences. These plans, offered in cities such as Conway and Bentonville, address cognitive, medical, and emotional aspects, ensuring comprehensive and personalized support for residents with memory-related conditions.

12. How can family members stay involved in their loved one's life in a memory care community?

Family members can stay involved in their loved one's life in a memory care community by participating in family events, visiting regularly, and communicating with staff. Communities in cities like Rogers and Little Rock encourage family engagement to provide emotional support and maintain connections.

13. Are there memory care communities in Arkansas that offer outdoor spaces?

Yes, many memory care communities in Arkansas offer secure outdoor spaces where residents can enjoy fresh air and engage in outdoor activities. These spaces, found in cities such as Fayetteville and Springdale, are designed with safety features to provide a pleasant and secure outdoor experience for residents.

14. What qualifications and training do staff members in memory care communities have?

Staff members in memory care communities in Arkansas undergo specialized training to understand and address the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia. They receive training in cities such as Little Rock and Fort Smith to provide compassionate and effective care that enhances residents' quality of life.

15. Can residents personalize their living spaces in memory care communities?

Yes, residents in memory care communities in Arkansas can personalize their living spaces with familiar belongings, photographs, and decor. Communities in cities such as Conway and Hot Springs encourage personalization to create a comfortable and homelike environment that supports residents' well-being.

16. How do memory care communities address residents' nutritional needs?

Memory care communities in Arkansas address residents' nutritional needs by providing balanced and appetizing meals. They accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions, offering nutritious options in cities such as Little Rock and Bentonville to support residents' overall health and well-being.

17. Can residents in memory care communities receive assistance with medication management?

Yes, residents in memory care communities in Arkansas receive assistance with medication management. Trained staff members ensure medications are taken as prescribed, promoting residents' health and well-being. Communities in cities such as Springdale and Rogers prioritize residents' safety and health.

18. What role does memory-enhancing activities play in memory care?

Memory-enhancing activities play a vital role in memory care by stimulating cognitive function and promoting engagement. These activities, offered in memory care communities in cities like Little Rock and Fayetteville, help maintain residents' cognitive abilities, improve mood, and foster a sense of accomplishment.

19. How are memory care communities designed to create a safe environment?

Memory care communities in Arkansas are designed with features to create a safe environment for residents with memory-related conditions. These features include secure entrances, well-lit spaces, and easy-to-navigate layouts. Communities in cities such as Conway and Hot Springs prioritize resident safety and minimize risks.

20. How can I determine if a memory care community is the right choice for my loved one in Arkansas?

Choosing a memory care community in Arkansas involves evaluating the staff's expertise in dementia care, the safety features of the community, and the suitability of the environment for your loved one's needs. Visit communities in cities such as Bentonville and Rogers, inquire about their approach to memory care, and assess whether they can provide the level of support your loved one requires.

SeniorGuidance.org provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Additional senior living options in Arkansas:

Assisted Living in Arkansas Senior Apartments in Arkansas Nursing Homes in Arkansas

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