The “wind sweepin’ down the plain” days of Oklahoma are long gone. These days, Tulsa has an impressive selection of restaurants, businesses, attractions, and sports teams while keeping its down-home charm. Many people live their whole life in Oklahoma because of its appeal. Also, many older adults search for nursing home facilities here. The state has among the lowest costs of care in the nation falling well below the average. You will be sure to find a Tulsa nursing home that fits your budget among the twenty or so places within the city.
Researching your long-term care is important. In a recent study, over two in five nursing facilities received below-average ratings in their yearly state health inspections.
18,938 retirees resided in Oklahoma nursing homes in 2014.
There is a growing population in need of care. By 2030, there is expected to be 46 percent more golden-agers over the age of 85 in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma has the 25th most dense nursing home population in all of the United States.
There are few places in the country that boast more affordable nursing home care than Tulsa. The median annual price for care in Tulsa was $52,925 for a semi-private room in April of 2016. The national median is $82,125 per year. For a private room, you can expect to pay $92,378 nationally, but in Tulsa, that rate is a meager $68,438. Of course, rates will vary from home to home and are based on an array of factors, such as amenities, location, and more.
One of the hallmarks of a nursing facility is having certified nursing staff on duty at all times. At all hours of the day and night, registered nurses are available to provide care, and they are backed up by certified nursing assistants. The nursing staff administers wound care when needed, helps dole out daily medications, schedules appointments with therapists and other specialists, and follows the physician prescribed care routine. CNAs report to the RN in charge directly. Any observations, like changes in condition, are communicated to the resident’s family.
Long-term care facilities are also helpful for retirees with memory loss and dementia. Many nursing homes treat these patients in a separate floor, wing, or building on the campus. Patients may look to a rehabilitation or short-term facility if they have recently been hospitalized and need extra care before they can return home. Also, nursing home residents who are in the final stages of a life-ending illness can get the comfort and help of Hospice for their own and their family’s needs.
A cornerstone of nursing home care is the full meal schedule. The kitchen staff is able to accommodate a range of dietary needs. There are menus available for residents who are vegetarian, require low-sodium meals, are kosher, or who have diabetes. CNAs are available to help residents with eating when needed, and meals are served in a community dining room. When seniors are immobilized, they can have their meals delivered right to their room.
Activity directors in nursing homes coordinate life-enriching events that may include performances by local music or dance groups, board games, arts and crafts, holiday or birthday celebrations, singalongs, and movie nights. To see to the spiritual well-being of residents, chaplains are usually available on-site. They can provide religious services, spiritual study groups, and consultations.
When deciding which home is right for you, you must take the time to tour each place you are interested in. Get a copy of the home’s most recent state inspection report. Ask about the ratio of nursing staff members to residents, a schedule of the daily events, and inquire about daily menus.
See how the residents and workers interact with each other and get a good taste of the food by having a meal in the nursing facility. Also, chat with current staff members, tenants, and visitors you see to get their views on the home. Before leaving, get a summary of costs, what is included in those costs, and a list of other amenities that cost extra.
Dig a little deeper into the info about your favorite property by visiting the website for the Oklahoma Department of Aging Services. Here, you can view past inspection reports, helpful information on regulations, and any complaints filed against the home.
When retirees choose a semi-private room instead of a private room in a nursing home facility, they can save over $15,000 per year in Tulsa. Having a roommate can help you acclimate to a new community faster and make it easier to meet staff and other residents.
Regardless of whether you will be saving money with a roommate or not, it is still important to determine how to fund your nursing home experience. About seven million Americans across the nation have purchased long-term care insurance policies to cover their nursing home care. Contact your carrier to make sure that you understand the restrictions and limitations of your coverage and for a summary of your benefits if you hold a policy. To keep your coverage active, you must also have a plan in place to make your premium payments.
In Oklahoma, Medicaid funds about 75 percent of nursing home care for low-income golden-agers. You must have a limited income and assets in order to be eligible. If they have served during an active wartime, veterans and their widows can apply for VA Aid & Attendance. For an application and a list of what is required to qualify for the pension, contact the regional benefits office in Muskogee.
Cashing in an insurance policy or taking out a reverse mortgage can also give you access to more funds, but you need to fully understand the tax implications and liabilities for these options. So, be sure to seek out the counsel of a financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor before going this route. The US Department of Urban Development gives more information on how to use a reverse mortgage to fund your care. Also, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners-produced Life Insurance Buyer's Guide will tell you more about cashing out life insurance.
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