Oklahoma City Alzheimer’s Care

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. With one in every three seniors dying of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia each year, this disease is a major public health issue. More than 61,000 senior citizens in Oklahoma have been diagnosed with the disease in 2015.

The Central Oklahoma Regional Office of the Alzheimer’s Association works to educate and support patients, family members, caregivers, and the general community in Oklahoma City. Programs like the Alliance of Women for Alzheimer’s Research and Education (AWARE) allows the Oklahoma Chapter to provide critical care in the state. Other support groups and education programs are available.

Oklahoma City, OK offers dozens of Alzheimer’s care communities including assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement, independent living, and skilled nursing facilities. Four of these communities were awarded top-rated positions in SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2016 Best of Senior Living Award: Prairie Winds Alzheimer Special Care Center, Brookdale Statesman Club, Village on the Park, and Lionwood Senior Living.

Alzheimer’s Facts for Oklahoma City Residents

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The facts are surprising, however the opportunities for managed care is on the rise.

It is estimated that newly diagnosed cases of the disease will increase to as many as 76,000 senior citizens with the disease by the year 2025.

There is an expected increase in Alzheimer’s cases of 26.7 percent by the year 2025.

11 percent of Oklahoma’s seniors have the disease.

In 2012, there were 1,145 deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in Oklahoma.

Since the year 2000, Oklahoma has seen a 79 percent increase in Alzheimer’s deaths.

In 2014, there were 220,000 caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients in Oklahoma. More than 2.5 billion hours of devoted unpaid care were devoted equating to over $3 trillion.

Defining Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s care is available for those patients in the early, middle, or late-stages. The care can be in-home, at an adult day centers with supervision, or in a residential care facility. In the early-stage, the patient is able to function independently. The middle-stage caregiving can last for many years as dementia progresses. The late-stage progression needs intensive 24-hour care as the patient may have difficulty eating and swallowing.  At any stage, the patient will need supervision with a familiar routine and surroundings.  

Social activities with other senior citizens may delay the later stages. According to a recent review of 15 studies, cognitively stimulating activities improved the scores on memory and thinking tests, “equivalent to about a six to nine month delay in worsening of symptoms.”

Managing the Increasing Cost of Care in Oklahoma

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey in 2016 reports the median rates for common Alzheimer’s care options. Oklahoma patients in the early stages may only require a home health aide to help with little tasks and daily reminders. The average rate for a home health aide in Oklahoma City is $20 per hour. As the disease progresses using an adult day center may be a better option. The average daily rate is $60. An assisted living facility averages $3,326 per month.

As the patient reaches the later stages of the disease, they will require around-the-clock care. Many families choose a nursing home facility for this type of care. The cost for a semi-private room with one bed, single occupancy averages $150 a day or $54,750 annually. The median rate for a private room is $184 per day or $67,160 each year. These averages are estimated to increase as more Oklahoma residents are diagnosed with the disease.

The actual cost will vary depending on the patient and the progression of the disease. The type of care needed and the patient’s location in Oklahoma will be a factor. Many families devote unpaid time for the loved one when feasible. The role of a caregiver is stressful both physically and emotionally and the family may experience financial hardship during this time as they resort to using savings accounts and investments to pay for care.

Most senior citizens use Medicare as their primary insurance and/or Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. If the patient had retirement benefits from an employer, then these can be combined with the insurance.

Retirement benefits, like IRAs, may be an option. The VA Aid and Attendance can be used for patients or their spouses that served in the military. This benefit can help with personal care expenses whether the patient is living at home or in an assisted living community.

There are several ways to manage the cost of Alzheimer’s care. Research and compare the various types of care before committing to one. Contact your local agency at the Central Oklahoma Regional Office for more programs and resources.


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