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Assisted living in Arkansas for couples
Assisted living facilities are among the most popular retirement living communities, including for couples. They accept senior adults over the age of 62, allowing married couples or committed partners to live together. To be accepted, one must meet specific criteria, which often regard the monthly income and current physical health.
How many ALFs are there in Arkansas? In the state of Arkansas, there are 95 assisted living facilities. These retirement communities can be found in the following locations: Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, and Little Rock. The Arkansas DHS Office of Long-Term Care licenses and regulates ALFs. These communities offer personal assistance with daily living activities, such as dressing, eating, toileting, and bathing.
Married couples can apply for admittance to such a facility. They both have to go through interviews, in order to assess individual needs and desires; the spouse who requires the highest level of care is given priority. Even though couples are allowed to live together, they receive individual service plans upon admittance. These plans must include behavioral care goals, mentions of recurrent medication, any existent impairments, level and scope of service, treatment and service schedule.
Prospective residents might be rejected if they require round-the-clock nursing services, suffer from terminal or long-term illnesses, or are bedridden. Senior adults who require restraints or those who might represent a danger to themselves or others are not accepted either. The same goes for seniors who have medical or transfer assistance needs that exceed the available scope of service.
Financing and costs of assisted living in Arkansas
The average cost for assisted living in Arkansas is $3,000 per month. By comparison, the national average is around $4,000. The respective price is for a private room, with one resident. Couples should expect to pay higher fees if they want to live together. Generally-speaking, assisted living is less expensive than nursing home and in-home care, but not as affordable as adult day healthcare and independent living.
From all the states bordering Arkansas, Missouri is the only one that offers lower costs, with the price for assisted living being somewhere around $2,800. The other states – Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma – have higher fees. Within the state, there are considerable differences between locations. For instance, Fort Smith has the lowest fees, with an average of $1,500, while Fayetteville is considered the more expensive, with a median average of $3,300.
Couples who have a lower-level income can seek out financial assistance. The DHS Division of Medical Services provides the Personal Care Medicaid coverage, and the residents can apply to receive it. Eligibility criteria regard medical needs, level of independence, and finances/income. There is also the PACE Arkansas Program – All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly – which has its own eligibility criteria.
Seniors who are nursing-home eligible and want to move into an assisted living facility can apply for the Assisted Living Choices Waiver. The Supplemental Security Income is another possibility for financial assistance, as well as veteran benefits, long-term care insurance, life insurance policies, and reverse mortgages.
Services provided to married couples by assisted living facilities in Arkansas
Senior couples residing in assisted living facilities have access to a diversity of services. The staff is available 24/7, being able to provide emergency care assistance. Registered nurses can help with daily living tasks, medication administration, and treatment regimens, such as diabetes care. Other staff might offer assistance with social and recreational activities, transportation, specific needs.
General services include: housekeeping, maintenance, meal preparation and serving (including snacks and fluids), laundry and linen service, etc. Some facilities have memory care units, providing care and services for residents who suffer from Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Medication management is an important part of assisted living, with the staff either monitoring the resident while self-administering his/her treatment or giving the respective medication to the resident.
The regulation regarding medication management depends on the type of facility. With Level I facilities, residents are monitored while they take their treatment. The staff might offer reminders and help them open various medication packages. In Level II facilities, registered nurses handle the medication administration, especially if senior adults suffer from physical or memory impairments.
Amenities for couples moving to an assisted living in Arkansas
Many assisted living communities have a home-like setting, allowing couples to choose a living space that suits their needs. ALF units are commonly designed in the style of apartments, with couples being housed together at their specific request. All the units have a fully-functional kitchen, a thermostat controlled by the resident, keyed entries, basic applies. Usually, couples live in separate wings, especially if they have complex healthcare needs. The apartments are located on the ground floor and are wheelchair accessible.
At an assisted living facility, you will typically find the following amenities: fitness center/gym, swimming pool, restaurant, social club, religious service. Some ALFs also have beauty salon and barber shop, massage therapy, private dining room, library room, computer room, game room. If residents have pets and don’t want to say goodbye to their furry friends, they can ask the respective ALF about their pet policy. Memory care units offer specific amenities, such as painting classes, learning center, guided walks, etc.
- Arkansas County
- Ash Flat
- Baxter County
- Bella Vista
- Benton County
- Boone County
- Craighead County
- Crawford County
- Crittenden County
- El Dorado
- Eureka Springs
- Fairfield Bay
- Faulkner County
- Forrest City
- Fort Smith
- Garland County
- Heber Springs
- Holiday Island
- Hot Springs
- Hot Springs Village
- Independence County
- Jefferson County
- Lake Village
- Little Rock
- Lonoke County
- Miller County
- Mountain Home
- North Little Rock
- Pine Bluff
- Pope County
- Pulaski County
- Saline County
- Sebastian County
- Star City
- Union County
- Van Buren
- Walnut Ridge
- Washington County
- West Memphis
- White County
What are some positives and negatives associated with moving to assisted living in Arkansas for couples?
Even if you are years away from retirement, it cannot hurt to start thinking about alternative living options. You and your spouse deserve to live your golden years in peace, as part of a community that offers everything you need. Here are some pros and cons of ALFs to help you take the best decision.
Pros of moving to assisted living for couples in Arkansas
- Assisted living offers a less expensive option than nursing home and in-home care
- Service plans individualized according to the resident's needs and desires
- Impairments are considered when creating the individualized service plan
- Medication management and monitoring, in accordance to the level of the ALF (Level I or Level II)
Cons of moving to assisted living for couples in Arkansas
- ALFs in Arkansas have strict admission requirements (check before applying for admittance)
- Potential residents of ALFs are not accepted if their needs exceed the available scope of service
- Monthly costs are high and thus hard to cover on a lower-level income
- Restrictions apply, including when it comes to visitation times
- Senior adults might have a hard time adjusting to the new lifestyle, feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed (prolonged adjustment)
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