Assisted living can mean different things for different seniors and Tulsa has plenty of options for their older adults. Since there are so many choices, you need to make sure you understand the different types of care as well as the costs, services available, and what providers are in your area. This guide should be able to help you determine what you need.
The term “assisted living” can cover a range of services but it means help for seniors that don’t need skilled nursing, just help with their day to day lives. Among the services for assisted living you might find things like:
Planning and preparation of all meals, as well as clean-up once the meal is over.
Assistance with household chores including dusting, mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming.
Laundry services, including clean linens.
Assistance getting in and out of bed both in the morning and at night.
Personal grooming including bathing, getting, dressed, and any other needs.
Medication reminders and reminders of therapy appointments or other treatments.
Transportation to appointments, errands, or daily outings.
Mobility assistance around the house, whether that’s with a wheelchair or other walking device.
These are just a few of the services, and you can customize your care to fit your health needs. You can also choose where you would like assistance. Many seniors want to stay in their home and a hire homemaker or a home health aide to come to them.
Assisted living facilities are also an option, and there are a few different kinds. You can move into a community with a continuum of care and have a private residence; as your needs change, your care plan can change too. You might also choose to live in a group home with your own room, a shared room, or a group center.
Oklahoma has hundreds of licensed facilities, and Tulsa is home to almost 30 facilities.
In 1997, Oklahoma created a law that made two new settings of assisted living, Continuum of Care Facility and Assisted Living Center.
The Continuum of Care Facility provides a more extensive list of services and has more care than a nursing home.
The Assisted Living Center offers assistance between what a nursing home and a residential care facility can provide.
All assisted living residents in Oklahoma must have a written care plan, and the plan is reviewed quarterly by a health care professional to meet all needs.
Tulsa, Oklahoma is home to many seniors, and luckily, those seniors can enjoy a lower cost of assisted living. The average costs in Tulsa are mostly less than the average prices of the nation.
In 2016, the national cost for an assisted living facility was around $43,539 per year. In Tulsa, that cost was much lower at $39,330 annually. In-home care costs in Tulsa were right at the national averages. Homemakers cost $45,760 which was the same as the national average and home health aides cost $50,336 which was more than the average of $46,332.
Tulsa seniors should keep in mind that these numbers are also expected to rise over the next few years. Assisted living costs could go up anywhere between 1% and 4%. You should also keep in mind these are just average prices, and you will be able to find a provider that not only fits your needs but your budget as well.
Finding the right fit for your care needs can seem like a daunting task, but the research will be worth it in the end. When you’re looking at and comparing different providers and facilities, you should have a list of questions on hand. These will help you find the place that is right for your lifestyle and make sure you know all the services you’re getting for your money.
Here are just a few questions:
Can I see the residency agreement?
Where is the provider’s consumer disclosure?
What are the billing policies?
What does the total cost include?
What are the fees for extra services or amenities?
Can I use an outside service provider or is that against the rules?
Are overnight guests allowed?
Can I have a pet and is there a fee included?
When and how often is the staff available?
Is there an emergency plan in place?
What does the continuum of care include?
Can I purchase renter’s insurance?
Does the facility accept Medicaid or long-term care insurance?
You can find more questions like this at the Assisted Living Federation of America’s Guide to Choosing An Assisted Living Community.
Take into consideration your situation when you’re trying to decide what type of assisted living you should choose. In-home care and assisted living facilities each have their advantages and if your financial situation can make them better or worse. If you don’t own your home or it needs a lot of repairs and upkeep, in-home care might not be the best choice. On the other hand, if you own your home and don’t need to take care of it a lot, in-home care could be the right choice.
A roommate can also alleviate the cost of assisted living in a facility. If you think you can handle living with someone and your community allows roommates, then give the situation a test run. If it works out, a roommate could help cut your costs in half. Make sure that you both sign the lease and an agreement in case anything comes up.
Some facilities also operate on a sliding-scale rate which could allow low-income seniors to pay what they can afford for services. Not all places will allow this, but it is not a bad idea to ask.
Low-income seniors can use Medicaid for their costs and veterans can use their VA benefits. Seniors with long-term care insurance can usually get their care covered through their plan, but check just to make sure.
If you own a home, selling it could give you extra funds for your care. If you don’t, a reverse mortgage might also help. You will have to meet with an HUD-certified counselor, so you know all of the risks.
Find assisted living in Tulsa near you.