As families search for senior living, Arkansas should stand out for those seeking a mild climate, affordable living costs, and plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities.
Arkansas — known as “The Natural State” for its abundance of lakes, rivers, and forests — sits in a geographical transition zone between the Deep South and the Midwest, and features the best of both regions. Winters are short without extreme cold, and the Ozarks stretch down into the state’s northern counties. Here you’ll find gems such as Eureka Springs, the artistic oasis in the hills surrounding Beaver Lake, along with Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo National River. But it’s the Ouachita Mountains and healing waters of Hot Springs National Park of central Arkansas that attract most of the state’s tourists. Arkansas is also home to the small but diverse cities of Fayetteville and Little Rock, both of which are college towns with enough options and activities to cater to anyone’s interests.
The median monthly cost of a care home in Arkansas is about $4,500. However, the cost of living in a care home depends largely on location. Since the homes are private residences, costs are tied to real estate value and therefore may vary greatly.
Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because care homes operate similarly to assisted living communities, states may regulate care homes within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in Arkansas.
In Arkansas, care homes — sometimes called residential care homes, board and care homes, group homes, or personal care homes — are often houses in residential neighborhoods that are adapted, equipped, and staffed to care for a small number of residents, usually 10 or fewer. Similar to assisted living but in a smaller, more residential setting, these homes provide supervision, organized events, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). This means care homes can help with everyday routines but typically do not provide 24-hour skilled nursing assistance.
Overall, the cost of living in Arkansas is considered to be much more affordable than the national average. All index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.
About 17% of Arkansas’ population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, Arkansas leaned conservative. However, many of its counties with larger cities, like the Little Rock area, tend to be more progressive.
Arkansas has a humid subtropical climate, meaning the state often experiences mild temperatures throughout the year. In fact, the average temperature is above 50F for nine months of the year. Summers tend to be hot with lots of moisture in the air, and winters are usually cool but not extremely cold. The state receives plenty of rainfall, particularly in the spring, although droughts can occur in late summer. Thunderstorms are common throughout the year, with the biggest threat of severe storms and tornadoes occurring during spring. Winter storms are less common, and they usually bring more sleet and freezing rain than snow.