Oklahoma offers a beautiful and affordable location for retirement. A mild climate with four distinct seasons also makes this state comfortable for older adults. Crime is slightly higher here than in the average American city, but its low cost of living can help residents stretch their dollars. The state fully exempts Social Security retirement benefits from taxes and offers a $10,000 deduction toward retirement and pension income. Here you can learn about options for assisted living in Oklahoma, their costs, and how the state regulates this and other types of senior care.
Oklahoma features big-city amenities yet holds a small-town charm with a strong Native American and western heritage. You’re sure to find your perfect retirement haven in this state with ten different geographic regions. Mountain ranges, prairies, farmlands, high plains – plentiful natural beauty awaits you.
Assisted living communities, also called assisted living facilities (ALFs) in Oklahoma, are designed to accommodate older adults who need some assistance with daily living activities. The Health Facility Systems Office of Oklahoma’s Department of Health regulates assisted living communities throughout this state.
Assisted living communities must define their scope of services in writing for their residents. Oklahoma’s communities offer three types of services:
An assisted living facility is a home or establishment that provides services for two or more people who need assistance with personal care or nursing supervision. These individuals may also need periodic unscheduled nursing care, medication administration, and assistance with transfer or ambulation. The residential care home provides accommodations and supportive assistance. The residents in a residential care home must be ambulatory and are able to manage their own care. These residents also do not require routine skilled nursing or intermediate care.
Independent living communities are a good housing option for seniors who can still live independently but want to downsize. Each resident or couple lives in a private unit, and most communities offer social programs so residents can meet their neighbors. Housekeeping, chores, and some meals may be provided, although these may incur an additional cost. Unlike the care given in an assisted living community, assistance with activities of daily living and medication management aren’t available in these communities.
Nursing homes offer the highest level of care of all senior living options. These communities provide around-the-clock supervision and skilled nursing care, and medical help is available. Generally, people in nursing homes have complex medical issues or need more residential care than is offered in an assisted living facility. Oklahoma has both skilled nursing facilities (SNF) for people who require 24-hour care and intermediate care facilities (ICF) for people who don’t need as much medical care. The average cost of nursing home care in the state is $5,475 for a semi-private room and $6,083 for a private room.
Many seniors prefer to choose a community that will continue to meet their needs in the future. Continuing care retirement communities have independent living, assisted living, and nursing home facilities on the same property or owned by the same community. This model allows seniors to stay near their friends in familiar surroundings, even as their needs change. The care provided in the assisted living section of a CCRC is the same as in an assisted living community. The difference is that residents can easily move to a skilled nursing room if required. Often, CCRCs are bigger than ACHs, as they encompass more care options.
Supportive Housing is a residential facility designed for older adults or persons with disabilities who are unable to live independently. These individuals need help with toileting, bathing, dressing, medication management and administration, assistance with meals and housekeeping, and other activities of daily living. These individuals do not need regular nursing care. There are several housing options available that range from living in a facility to residents living in their own home or apartment, with community-based support services.
Oklahoma has a variety of adult day care options to support older adults at home while their caregivers are away during the day. Adult day care offers protective health and social services to help people remain as independent as possible. It also provides respite care for family caregivers.
Adult day care centers in Oklahoma provide a Care Delivery Plan for each participant, which details the specific services available. They generally offer the following services:
Unlike assisted living, adult day care is only offered during the day. It’s not designed for people who require 24/7 care in a home or institutional setting. The average cost of adult day health care in Oklahoma is $1,495 per month.
There are two types of in-home care available in Oklahoma: homemaker services and home healthcare. Homemaker services generally provide personal care and may also help with errands, chores, and housekeeping. Home healthcare can deliver these services and also offer medical care such as skilled nursing and medication management. Unlike assisted living care, in-home care is provided to people in their homes, making it a good choice for those who prefer to age in place. However, it doesn’t give seniors access to the social and recreational programming of assisted living communities. The average cost of homemaker services and home health aides is $4,862 per month.
There are over 200 assisted living facilities in Oklahoma with over 10,500 licensed beds. Brookdale, the nation’s largest provider of assisted living operates 38 facilities in and around the state. Some other national or regional chains that operate multiple facilities in the state include Arbor House (3), Legend (5), and Villagio, Rivermont, and Rambling Oaks, which each operate two communities.
The Continuum of Care and Assisted Living Act, Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, outlines the state’s standards regarding licensing, staffing, care quality, and inspection requirements for its assisted living communities. For example, residents have the freedom to choose their personal attending care providers without a fee or financial penalty. The Oklahoma Department of Health investigates and mediates complaints and oversees on-site inspections.
To help ensure resident safety and care quality, the Department of Health also requires assisted living communities to conduct background checks on prospective administrators. Every administrator must complete a 15-hour Medication Administration Training (MAT training) or show proof of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification as a nurse.
The average cost of assisted living care in Oklahoma is $3,855 per month. This cost is $645 lower than the national average of $4,500 per month. The cost of living in Oklahoma is 12.1% lower than the national average with healthcare costs nearly 5.5% lower and housing costs 25.3% less than the national average. The exact price of care differs depending on where in the state you’re located. The cost of assisted living ranges from a low of $3,561 in the Lawton area to a high of $4,800 per month in the Oklahoma City area of Oklahoma.
If you live close to one of Oklahoma’s borders, you may find assisted living in a neighboring state is an affordable option. Arkansas to the east of Oklahoma has an average monthly cost for assisted living of $3,760 per month, which is lower than the average cost in Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s two other neighboring states both have higher average monthly costs with the cost in Texas averaging $3,998 and Kansas averaging $4,580.
The average cost of assisted living in Oklahoma is around $46,000 per year, so, understandably, you or a family member may be wondering how to pay for care. A range of options is available to fund senior housing in the state.
Selling a home is a common way for seniors to raise funds for assisted living care. Income from pensions and Social Security may also pay for some care. Other examples of private funds include your retirement accounts, mutual funds, and other investments.
Long-term care insurance covers personal care, residential care, and other long-term support and services. Each plan is different; however, most offer a daily amount based on the policy that pays for assistance with activities of daily living. Most people buy a policy in their 50s or 60s and access it when required. If you or your family member has a policy, read it carefully to see what care it covers.
Oklahoma has seven Veterans Centers around the state, Ardmore, Claremore, Clinton, Lawton, Norman, Sulphur, and Talihina. These homes provide skilled nursing care to residents of Oklahoma who served in the military. The state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also has offices around the state where team members can help people obtain benefits and services. This includes the Aid and Attendance Benefit, which can help qualified veterans fund personal care.
Elderlife Financial can help you understand how to pay for assisted living.
The services provided in assisted living communities generally come under three broad categories: personal care, medical care, and amenities.
Most people move to assisted living communities because they look for easy access to personal care. These services assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, walking, and toileting. Communities also provide supervision and can deliver care for unforeseen needs or in cases of emergencies.
In Oklahoma, ACHs must provide care and services in the resident’s care plan. This can include coordinating medical care and appointments. Communities may also deliver health services, with 63% of communities providing skilled nursing. Many have healthcare specialists and on-site services, with 44% of communities offering dental care. In addition, 62% of ACHs have hospice services.
ACHs may provide specialized care for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. These special care units have additional security measures to ensure residents don’t wander, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Typically, they also offer programs designed to improve cognitive function and routines that help lower stress.
Mental health issues are a growing consideration for communities, and services to address these concerns are becoming more common. In Oklahoma, 76% of communities conduct depression screening, and 49% offer mental health counseling. Social work programs are also found in 43% of ACHs. Social workers can provide counseling, conduct assessments, and help ensure residents have access to all the resources they need.
Amenities refer to other features and services of the community. ACHs offer three meals a day and coordinate activity programs to help residents stay active and connected with families and the community. Oklahoma facilities must also provide transportation and laundry services and may offer housekeeping services.
Oklahoma’s older adults have access to a high number of healthcare facilities. High-performing hospitals include St. Francis Hospital – Tulsa and Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. AllianceHealth Medical Group has health care centers across the state as well.
Oklahoma has a total of 90 hospitals and numerous clinics, and urgent care centers. Assisted living residents can be assured of finding any medical attention they need nearby.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) strives to provide the highest quality care possible to support its residents’ dignity, well-being, and safety. ODMHSAS oversees services for prevention, treatment, and recovery from mental illness and related disorders. Due to limited resources, programs are geared toward the needs of the most seriously ill and those in crisis.
The National Alliance for Mental Health of Oklahoma (NAMI Oklahoma) offers education, support, and advocacy for people affected by mental illness. Oklahoma’s veterans and their families can connect with a free, 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line and find resources through the Oklahoma Veterans Assistance Locator (OKVALOR).
The decision to move into an assisted living community can be difficult. Generally, you’ll notice changes in your loved one that suggest they need some assistance. Signs that this environment could be beneficial include increased isolation, loss of mobility, noticeable weight loss or gain, and signs that they’re neglecting household chores.
Your older family member may be the one to start talking about assisted living. For many seniors, the idea of moving into a home where cooking, laundry, and other chores are taken care of is appealing. For seniors who realize they need help with daily tasks, the addition of personal care may come as a relief. In Oklahoma, 13% of residents need help with eating. Other commonly used services include bed transfer (24%), toileting (26%), and walking (54%). Caregivers in ACHs help 33% of residents to dress, and 49% of residents need help bathing.
If you think your family member would benefit from assisted living, start by talking about it openly. Highlight the positives of a move, such as social activities, cooked meals, and easily accessible assistance. Some ACHs provide respite care, which may allow your family member to have a trial run. Remember, this should be a conversation, not a lecture. Stay open to their opinion. If they’re not ready to transition to assisted living, talk about the care they need to stay at home.
The Health Facility Systems Office of Oklahoma’s Department of Health oversees the state’s assisted living communities. Oklahoma’s long-term care ombudsman fields grievances regarding assisted living communities, nursing homes, and other senior living communities. For help accessing medical or social services, you can reach out to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services – Aging Services Division.
The field of elder law has grown. As a result, to help protect seniors and their families from abuse, scams, and fraud. Here, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. provides legal services through the state’s Area Agencies on Aging to older adults with economic or social needs. Assistance covers:
There are 100 assisted living facilities in OK and the median cost of care is $3,855. The average rating of assisted living facilities in Oklahoma is 3 out of 5 stars and the top ranked facility is Legend at Jefferson”s Garden.
801 South Stadium Drive, Ada, OK, 74820
Outdoor Areas, Parking, Pool, Social Outings, Washer & Dryer in Unit,
1616 East McElroy Road, Stillwater, OK, 74075
Outdoor Areas, Beauty & Barber, Pool, Social Outings, Washer & Dryer in Unit,
1515 Kingsridge Dr, Oklahoma City, OK, 73170
Pet Friendly, Outdoor Areas, Social Outings, Pool, Activity Center,
9240 E. Reno Avenue, Midwest City, OK, 73130
Housekeeping, Activity Center, Social Outings, Clubs & Communities, Outdoor Areas,
750 Canadian Trails Dr, Norman, OK, 73072
Pet Friendly, Pool, Fitness Programs, Clubs & Communities, Restaurant Style Dining,
3601 East Main St., Weatherford, OK, 73096
Pet Friendly, Beauty & Barber, Pool, Activity Center, Clubs & Communities,
3947 North Kickapoo, Shawnee, OK, 74804
Pet Friendly, Beauty & Barber, Pool, Activity Center, Fitness Programs,
1701 East Alameda Street, Norman, OK, 73071
Pet Friendly, Beauty & Barber, Pool, Activity Center, Fitness Programs,
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