By David Besnette for Assisted Living Directory
The State of Arkansas provides some incredibly useful information, support, and tools on just about any and every aspect of assisted living. I highly encourage you to spend a little (or a lot) of time on the State’s Department of Human Services site – specifically the Long Term Care Information for Consumers section.
Here you will find a thorough overview of assisted living and long-term care specifically for Arkansas.
There’s a section for “Filing a Complaint” against a long-term care facility, which is helpful to bookmark if you, or someone you love is residing in an assisted living home or other care facility in Arkansas.
There’s a few different ways you can file a complaint:
- The first way is with a simple phone call. The DHS provides a number you can call: Phone: 1-800-582-4887
- You can fax a complaint in. The number they provide is: Fax: 501-682-8540, Attention Complaint Unit
- By email: You can email your complaint to:
- By letter: Letter: Complaints Unit, Office of Long Term Care, P.O. Box 8059, Slot S407, Little Rock, AR 72203-8059
They don’t say specifically that you can file a complaint anonymously, but if that is a concern, I would recommend calling and asking them about this.
Why is it important to know how to file a complaint?
I believe a lot of people simply don’t know that the State (wherever you live) supports residents in a long-term care environment, and will advocate for them, and investigate claims of abuse or neglect.
It’s also so important for family members to know how to do this (file a complaint) since often times, their loved one may be unable to advocate for themselves (due to memory disorders, Alzheimer’s, etc.)
As importantly, it’s imperative for family members to know the signs of neglect or abuse, so they can take action if they see this with their loved one.
There’s a good page on Helpguide that talks about the signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect.
Information to include when filing your complaint:
Another way to have suspected abuse or neglect investigated:
So, I’ve talked a lot about this throughout our site, and I am a big fan of your local Area Agency on Aging. These are agencies that are State/Federally supported that cover every city, town, county and rural area of the US.
They offer numerous programs, services and supports to seniors and caregivers. You can identify your specific Area Agency on Aging in Arkansas here.
Within an Area Agency on Aging, there is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman that acts as a neutral, third-party that will investigate claims of abuse or sub-standard care at an assisted living home or facility.
If your specific agency’s website doesn’t list this as a service, please ask them about it, as they should.