Most of us enjoy the freedom of being independent and being able to do whatever we want to do. As our health declines, caring for ourselves becomes increasingly challenging, yet we still want to enjoy the parts of life that we still can. Family members worry about safety and the situation becomes increasingly stressful for everyone.
That is the time to think about moving into an assisted living facility. Assisted living combines a living environment where seniors can enjoy a sense of independence and still get the medical care and other help they need so they can stay safe.
A 2014 Pew Research Study showed that seniors prefer to live in a living space with a sense of community. Assisted living offers seniors an environment with a healthy, active lifestyle and plenty of activities to choose from.
Seniors will find much in the way of community in Oklahoma City, where the cowboy culture lives on. Oklahomans welcome old-timers and newcomers with a warm, western welcome. The air is clean and the transportation systems are accessible.
Oklahoma offers several different types of assisted living programs including:
Nursing homes Specialized Facilities for Disabled Individuals Skilled nursing units Alzheimer’s facilities Residential Care Adult Day Care Assisted Living Centers Continuum of Care Facilities
Oklahoma City has a varied selection of quality assisted living programs and facilities.
Oklahoma City residents enjoy a low cost of living compared with residents of other states. The monthly fees for assisted living are very affordable. Expect to pay about $1350 on the low range and you may pay slightly over $2600 for high-end facilities.
The monthly fees offer the first hint of what the facility costs, but the total cost varies depending upon the choices that you make within the scope of programs. For example, you will pay more for a private space than a shared space. You can also expect to pay more for a one-bedroom unit than a studio.
Beyond the living space, assisted living facilities also sometimes include the cost of some, but not all of the utilities. They may or may not provide free internet services in the common areas. They may not allow pets; or they may allow pets, but have restrictions on the type and size of pet. They may also charge extra fees for deposits for having pets.
Meal plans may be wholly inclusive or include a specified number of meals. Use the stated monthly fee as a base. Include all the options that you want that are not inclusive to get the true cost of living in a certain facility.
Oklahoma City offers about 52 assisted living facilities. Start your search by looking at each facility’s website. Scroll through the photos and try to imagine yourself living there. Read the reviews from the current residents to get an honest view of what they enjoy or dislike about the facility or its management.
Factor in the location of the facility and consider whether it is near enough to your family. While public transportation is available in Oklahoma City, you’ll want to make sure that you can access it from the facility so that you can get to your appointments or get out into the community. If public transportation is not accessible, ask the facility if they offer public transport and how often it runs.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list, it’s time to schedule some appointments and start visiting facilities in person. Among other things, look for cleanliness and courteousness of staff.
The key to managing costs in assisted living is to ask a lot of questions. Do some research so that you know what to ask and what some of the common pitfalls are. Ask to see the leasing agreement so that you know what the facility’s responsibilities are and which responsibilities you can expect to take on. You’ll also want to ask if you need to buy an insurance policy and whether that needs to be a tenant insurance policy, a condo-type policy, or some other policy. Minimally, a tenant policy will protect your personal property, as well as provide some liability coverage for you.
Take a look at your retirement funds and see if that will provide enough to pay for assisted living, along with social security, pensions, or other income. You might also consider selling or renting the family home as a source of income. Medicaid funds assisted living, but if that is the source of funding that you will use, make sure your preferred facility accepts it as a form of payment. If none of those options work, consult with a financial advisor to see if a reverse mortgage, an eldercare loan, or some other option works for you and that you understand any associated risks.
Find assisted living in Oklahoma City near you.