During your golden years, it’s important to take the time to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes that means asking for a little extra help around the house or with your medical care to live the best life possible. In Oklahoma City, seniors have a plethora of options to help with their day-to-day living and care. Whether you simply need assistance at home or are at the other end of the spectrum and need access to continual medical care, there’s a solution for you. Let’s discuss the common care options in your area and find the right fit for your retirement years.
Seniors living in Oklahoma City can expect to spend well below the national averages for the different senior care options. As a comparison, we see in the Genworth Cost of Care 2015 study that across the nation seniors paid, on average, $80,300 for semi-private and $91,250 for private nursing home care per year. Oklahoma City seniors paid an average of $54,750 and $67,160 for the same type and level of care per year.
Other services, like homemaker services and home health aides, cost around the same in Oklahoma City as they did, on average, nationwide. Assisted living, however, was also lower in Oklahoma City. The local average cost was $39,915 for the year while nationally the average was $43,200. Note that assisted living services were an average of $4,000-$6,000 less expensive per year than home-based services.
Nationally, our senior population is growing. We see as many as 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, and providers are working to offer everything from daily household assistance up to in-depth care at medical facilities to meet every need. Here we review the most prevalent options for living and care in the Oklahoma City area.
At-home and community-based service providers can give seniors access to the right mix of care and services to live safely and happily at home during retirement.
Homemaker services are perfect for retirees who need non-medical assistance with tasks like bathing or dressing, cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
Home health services give seniors with health conditions access to in-home medical care. This can span an array of needs including simple medication management all the way up to care for chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.
Adult day programs are the right fit for older adults who need supervision for safety during the day when the caregiver is out of the home. The Oklahoma Department of Aging Services can point you in the right direction with finding a provider in your area.
Concierge services are great resources for help around the home with things like transportation, walking a pet or simple companionship, and can be contracted through a variety of local agencies and providers.
Determining which provider is right for you is easy. A good starting point is to ask family and friends for their thoughts and recommendations, read online reviews, and contact your top choices to determine if they meet the criteria below.
Ask if a license is required in the state of Oklahoma for what you’re requesting, and if so, ask if they have a current license. Check to see that they are bonded and insured. Ask about the hiring process. New employees should pass a background check and be required to attend training to give top-notch service. Ask about their backup plan. If an employee isn’t able to make a scheduled appointment with you, what will they do to ensure someone is available to help? Many Adult Day Center’s may have transportation available for seniors to and from the site. Ask about availability and costs of this service.
Oklahoma City has communities and facilities that offer many different levels of care to seniors. Whether you’re exploring the area for an independent living option or you’re in search of more in-depth medical care, there are options for you. In fact, many properties offer a spectrum of care levels to choose from, referred to as a continuum of care, giving seniors the advantage of accessing deeper care, if needed.
Independent living communities have a number of benefits. Seniors live in their own apartment space but have some of their day-to-day needs taken care of as part of the resort-style setting.
Assisted living communities offer a bit of extra assistance to their residents. Seniors who need help with things like transportation, personal care or housekeeping, but are still able to live on their own should research these options.
Nursing homes cater to seniors with medical needs who need access to around-the-clock nursing care. These facilities are excellent resources following a hospitalization for short-term care, or in long-term scenarios for seniors with chronic conditions.
Dementia care is designed to be specialized hands-on care for seniors with memory conditions to keep them safe and connected through retirement.
Ask about different levels of care available at the facility and understand their procedures if, in the future, you need access to a higher level of care.
Review the list of amenities included in the standard monthly fee at the facility.
Request a list of any additional services available and the corresponding costs.
Determine if independent concierge services are allowed on the property. Most facilities have policies against these services, but for some seniors who need specialized help like a dog walker, for example, this is an important question to ask.
When determining how to pay for care, most seniors initially look to their social security benefits and savings in retirement accounts. Beyond those sources, Medicaid may provide assistance to seniors who qualify and apply for the program as may the VA Aid & Attendance pension for military veterans. Another common funding source for homeowners is a reverse mortgage, assuming the terms and conditions are agreeable and favorable.
Oklahoma City has no shortage of activities for retirees to do on a weekly basis. Whether you’re looking for eateries, movies, events or shows, the city has many options. Two popular annual events are the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in the spring, featuring some of the best cowboys from across the country, and the Festival of the Arts in late April which brings hundreds of thousands of visitors, artists, and international food trucks together for a special event. Between galavanting around the city, you may want to get more involved. You can visit volunteermatch.org for a listing of charitable organizations in your area who could use your help.
We hope this guide was a great starting point to exploring your senior living options in the Oklahoma City area. If you’re looking for more in-depth resources on neighborhoods, veteran support, respite care or assisted living, be sure to check out the other guides on our website.
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