Oklahoma’s low cost of living and affordable healthcare is enticing enough that thousands of seniors decide to make Oklahoma their home. Oklahoma has an ever-growing elderly population, many of whom live on fixed, limited incomes and need assistance in finding and paying for quality assisted living communities.
Paying For Assisted Living in Oklahoma
The Cost of Assisted Living in Oklahoma
The monthly median cost of assisted living in Oklahoma is $3,325, which is considerably cheaper than the national average of $4,000. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Oklahoma is also less expensive than the median in all but two neighboring states – Arkansas and Missouri.
While the cost of Assisted Living is fairly consistent throughout the state, Enid is the one exception coming in about $500 below the state average. Tulsa is the most expensive region in the state, but at $3,448 it’s still well below the national average of $4,000.
While nursing home care is relatively cheap in Oklahoma when compared to the rest of the nation, it’s still considerably more expensive than assisted living. Other than independent living which doesn’t provide assistance with activities of daily living, assisted living communities are the cheapest solution for long-term care in the state.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Oklahoma
Oklahoma ADvantage Program
The Oklahoma ADvantage Program is the division of Oklahoma’s Medicaid (also known as SoonerCare) that services frail elderly and physically disabled applicants. It supports various forms of long-term care services, such as case management, personal care services, help getting specialized medical equipment, prescription drugs, skilled nursing care, and home-delivered meals.
There is also an ADvantage Assisted Living Service Option for residents who reside in or plan to move into an assisted living facility that is Medicaid approved.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants need to qualify for Oklahoma’s Medicaid and meet certain income, asset limits and functionality requirements. If you’re 65 or older and will be the only one in your home, the qualifications for Medicaid include:
- Must have a disability determination from the Social Security Administration
- Be a legal U.S. resident who lives in Oklahoma
- Annual income must not exceed $2,250, and your assets must be $2,000 or less
How to Apply
To get more details about eligibility requirements and start an application, contact your local Department of Human Services office. You can also call (918) 933-4900 or (800) 435-4711.
More Ways to Finance Assisted Living
Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:
- Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on benefits.va.gov.
- Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at longtermcare.acl.gov
- Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit longtermcare.acl.gov.
- Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has a variety of nonprofit and governmental organizations that may offer free assistance for the elderly and their families who are in the process of seeking long-term care. These organizations can provide an excellent starting point in understanding your rights and options.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Like many states, Oklahoma maintains a Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. The Ombudsman is tasked with:
- Educating residents, families, and communities on the rights of residence and issues of service and care
- Receiving and investigating complaints about long-term care facilities by residents or their family and friends, and then assisting in resolving the problem(s)
Area Agencies on Aging
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a network of hundreds of nonprofit organizations across America that provide federally funded services to adults over 60 in their local areas.
Oklahoma has many Area Agencies on Aging that offer comprehensive information on various kinds of programs and community supports for seniors.
|Area Agency on Aging||Address||Phone Number|
(Canadian, Cleveland, Logan and Oklahoma)
4101 Perimeter Center Drive, Ste. 310, Oklahoma City, OK 73112-5910
(405) 942-8500 (TDD)
(Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Grady, Jefferson, McClain, Stephens and Tillman)
802 Main St., P.O. Box 1647, Duncan, OK 73534-1647
(580) 736-7036 or (800) 658-1466
(Hughes, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie and Seminole)
400 N.Bell Ave., P.O. Box 3398, Shawnee, OK 74802-3398
(405) 273-6410 or (800) 375-8255
(Adair, Cherokee, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Sequoyah and Wagoner)
1012 N. 38th St., P.O. Box 1367, Muskogee, OK 74402-1367
(Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers and Washington)
333 S. Oak St., P.O. Box Drawer B, Big Cabin, OK 74332-0502
(918) 783-5793 or (800) 482-4594
(Creek, Osage and Tulsa)
2 W. Second St., Ste. 800, Tulsa, OK 74103-3116
(Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Pittsburg and Pushmataha)
Vo-Tech Administration Addition, 1002 Hwy. 2 North, Wilburton, OK 74578
(918) 465-2367 or (800) 722-8180 (TDD)
(Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Major and Noble)
202 W. Broadway Ave., Ste. A, Enid, OK 73701-4048
(Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis,
Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward)
330 Douglas Ave., P.O. Box 668, Beaver, OK 73932-0668
(580) 625-4531 or (800) 658-2844
(Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Coal, Garvin, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray and Pontotoc)
2704 N. First Ave., Durant, OK 74701
(Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon,
Kiowa, Jackson, Roger Mills and Washita)
Building 420, Sooner Drive, P.O. Box 569, Burns Flat, OK 73624-0569
(580) 562-4882 or (800) 627-4882 (TDD)
Oklahoma has VA centers to help veterans and their spouses with financing options for various kinds of care. These offices can provide guidance on your eligibility and direct you to the best support options for you.
1015 S Commerce St., Ardmore, OK 73401
3001 W. Blue Starr Drive, Claremore, OK 74017-0988
1701 South 4th, Clinton, OK 73601
501 S.E. Flower Mound Road, Lawton, OK 73501
1776 E. Robinson St., Norman, OK 73070
304 E. Fairlane, Sulphur, OK 73086
10014 SE. 1138th Ave., Talihina, OK 74571
Social Security Offices
The state of Oklahoma’s Social Security offices offer another great resource for seniors and elderly caregivers looking for assistance. By contacting or visiting a Social Security office, you can get a better understanding of your or your loved one’s social security benefits and the types of assistance available to help pay for assisted living expenses. Below is a list of Social Security Offices in Oklahoma.
|Social Security Office||Address||Phone Number|
921 Lonnie Abbott Blvd., Ada, OK 74820
(888) 810-1940 or (580) 332-2956 TTY
21 Holiday Drive, Ardmore, OK 73401
(888) 619-4774 or (580) 223-6129 TTY
900 Leisure Ln., Bartlesville, OK 74006
(877) 836-1557 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
506 W Utah Ave., Chickasha, OK 73018
(877) 622-9096 or (405) 224-8331 TTY
410 Opal Ave., Clinton, OK 73601
(877) 405-9345 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
121 S 12th Ave., Durant, OK 74701
(866) 495-0042 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
2202 N Van Buren St., Enid, OK 73703
(877) 405-0436 or (580) 237-7687 TTY
1610 Sw Lee Blvd., Lawton, OK 73501
(866) 931-2732 or (580) 355-0869 TTY
902 S George Nigh, Mcalester, OK 74501
(877) 893-4665 or (918) 429-1510 TTY
2108 Denver Harnar Dr., Miami, OK 74354
(888) 878-0013 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
200 Ne 27th St., Moore, OK 73160
(866) 964-4260 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
2401 W. Shawnee St., Muskogee, OK 74401
(877) 575-5195 or (918) 687-2394 TTY
12301 N. Kelley Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73131
(866) 331-2207 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
308 Creek Place, Okmulgee, OK 74447
(855) 287-4791 or (918) 756-2286 TTY
1306 Tarby Rd., Poteau, OK 74953
(877) 405-7697 or (918) 647-5042 TTY
909 E Federal St., Shawnee, OK 74804
(877) 897-0604 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
406 E Hall of Fame Ave., Stillwater, OK 74075
(888) 366-6143 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
4750 S Garnett Rd., Tulsa, OK 74146
(866) 931-7106 or (800) 325-0778 TTY
Oklahoma In-Home Assistance
Oklahoma In-Home Assistance and other services for the elderly is managed by the Aging Services Division and funded by the Older Americans Act. Depending on the availability of funds, approved applicants may receive personal care services, minor home repairs and modifications, assistance with indoor and outdoor chores, meals, transportation, legal services, and caregiver assistance.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants are required to be 60 years of age or older and a legal resident of Oklahoma.
How to Apply
There is no online form to apply. In order to get more details about the services available through Older Americans Act or to apply, contact your local Area Agency on Aging office.
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Department of Health Services enforces comprehensive regulations for assisted living communities in the state. Below is an overview of pertinent regulations for residents of assisted living facilities and their families in the state of Oklahoma.
Assisted Living Assessments
An admission and comprehensive assessment must be completed to ensure the resident receives appropriate placement and the care he or she will need.
The assessments must include:
- A description of the resident’s physical, mental, psychosocial and cognitive medical conditions
- The number of people the resident will need to help him or her with activities of daily living
- The resident’s medications
- Any special treatment and procedures the resident will require
- Information about the resident’s physical and mental functions
- The type of services and how often the resident receives them
- Any disease diagnoses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia
- Details about the resident’s oral, nutritional, and skin conditions
- A summary of the resident’s sensory and physical impairments
- Whether the resident requires any devices or restraints
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Assisted living communities in Oklahoma cannot accept any resident whose care or service needs go beyond what the assisted living facility is able to provide. Additionally, communities cannot admit a resident who requires physical or chemical restraints in a non-emergency situation, could be a threat to his or her self or others, or has privacy or dignity needs the assisted living facility is unable to fulfill.
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Assisted living communities are required to define the scope of services it provides to residents in writing. Overall, there are three types of services provided at assisted living communities in Oklahoma, which are listed below.
- Supervisory Care Services: Supervisory care refers to the daily observation of residents’ needs and capabilities, checking up on residents throughout the day, and assisting residents with medication.
- Personal Care Services: This type of care involves assistance with day-to-day activities, like grooming and dressing, along with medication administration and nursing services as needed.
- Directed Care Services: Directed care refers to services for individuals who are unable to make their own basic care decisions, call for help or understand dangerous situations.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Residents who do not have a cognitive impairment or intellectual disability may find help with cost coverage through the Oklahoma ADvantage program. For Oklahoma seniors who reside in an assisted living community, ADvantage pays for case management as well as medical and care related services, but it does not cover expenses for room & board.
Not all Oklahoma assisted living facilities accept the ADvantage program, and the estimated cost of caring for the resident cannot exceed what it would cost annually to care for the resident in a nursing home.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
Every assisted living unit is subject to the following requirements:
- Doors must be able to be locked, unless there is a documented medical condition stating otherwise.
- A thermostat must be provided which the resident can adjust, and it must protect the resident’s independence, privacy and safety.
- No more than two residents per bedroom are allowed.
- Only one resident at a time is allowed in the shower and bathing facilities.
- Unless the Department of Public Health has approved it, no more than four residents can share toilet or bathing facilities.
- Safety and assistance devices must be installed in bathing rooms for residents with special needs.
- A resident must be allowed to use any personal furnishings in their unit.
Medication Management Regulations
Only licensed staff who completed a training program that the Department of Health reviewed and approved may give residents their medications. Every month a registered nurse (RN) or pharmacist must review the residents’ medicine, and a consultant pharmacist is required to do the reviews on a quarterly basis.
Oklahoma assisted living facilities are expected to provide enough staff to fulfill services identified in residents’ care plans. If the facility was designed or has a program that prevents or limits a resident’s access to certain areas, a minimum of two properly trained staff members must be on-site and awake in the specialized unit. When an employee who is training to be a nurse’s aide is on-site, a consulting nurse licensed to practice in this state must also be working to supervise the aide.
Staff Training Requirements
Employees who work at assisted living facilities in Oklahoma must have proper training. Training requirements include:
- All direct care staff must complete first aid training and CPR certification.
- Staff members who provide activity, exercise and socialization services must have had the proper training.
- Administrators must be licensed by the State Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators, or have one of the following certificates of training: from a residential care home administrator from a Department-approved institution of higher learning, or a nationally recognized, Department-approved certification.
- Each year all medical and direct care staff is required to complete a minimum of one hour of in-service Alzheimer’s and dementia training.
- The dietary consultant must be a licensed dietician or qualified nutritionist.
Background Checks for Assisted Living
Before being hired, all applicants being offered a position at an assisted living facility must consent to a fingerprint-based national background check from the Department of Health. Any person who fails the background check will not be eligible to work at an assisted living community.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
If you suspect a caregiver of abusing your elderly loved one or you’re the one being abused, you should report it immediately.
Report any form of elderly abuse (physical, mental, sexual, neglect or financial exploitation) to your local Department of Human Services (DHS). If the DHS is closed, you can call the Statewide Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.
Oklahoma Assisted Living Facilities must follow the state and federal laws and regulations to ensure the safety of all residents. If you suspect the facility is not in compliance with the laws and regulations, you can file a complaint through the Oklahoma Department of Health Services by sending an email to [email protected]. Alternatively, you can call (800) 747-8419 or (405) 271-6868.