Seniors are saying that there is no place like home when it comes to aging. AARP completed a survey in 2014 that found 71 percent of adults between 50 and 64 wanted to stay at home versus other senior living options. Around 87 percent of seniors over 65 also want to stay home. Tulsa offers a variety of choices to make staying at home easier and safe. These services assist with medical and nonmedical daily living needs.
There are several home care agencies in Tulsa alone, with about 100 agencies handling medical and non-medical services. LIFE Senior Services offers a listing of the various home care agencies.
Oklahoma provides home care agencies licenses under the Home Care Act.
Low-income seniors may be eligible for home health services through Oklahoma’s SoonerCare (Medicaid program).
In 2015, there were approximately 820,000 people employed as health aides in the United States, with about 8,100 in Oklahoma.
The average income for home health aides in Oklahoma was $23,550.
In 2016, the average daily rate for homemaker services in Tulsa was $125. This service averages $50,336 annually, based on five days a week for the 52 weeks a year.
Homemaking services include assistance with household chores and upkeep light housekeeping, errand running, grocery shopping, meal scheduling and preparation, laundry, and dishes. You can also find additional homemaking services for:
Personal hygiene and dressing assistance.
Social activities like games and letter writing.
Prescription and medicine reminders.
Pet care, including dog walking and feeding.
Safety checks to minimize hazards.
Communication with a senior’s family to discuss health and mental condition.
Homemaking services can be a practical solution for healthy seniors who just need assistance with household chores. Seniors may also enjoy the companionship.
Health aide services in Tulsa average $138 a day, which is slightly higher than the average homemaker service costs. Comparing these rates to the average nursing home care costs can show you the potential savings. The average daily cost for a semi-private nursing home room in Tulsa was $145 a day, and a private room averaged $188 a day. Using these numbers, you could save $2,600 - $18,000 a year contingent on the type of room and the style of nursing home.
Home health aides are able to complete nonmedical chores just like homemakers. However, they are trained to assist with some medical care tasks like taking blood pressure, checking and redressing wounds, and assistance with mobility medical devices.
Home health aides are typically employed through home care agencies and are obligated to meet both training and experience requirements determined by the state. Aides must complete both classroom and hands-on clinical experience that is managed by a registered nurse. Home health aides are qualified to manage medical tasks like checking blood pressure, walking assistance, and dispensing medications. Some aides supervise medical devices like a ventilator.
Every person needs a different level of care. Agencies will assist you by creating a package and schedule that meets your needs. You can also update regularly when your demands change. Here are some of the types of care available.
If you need just temporary care while your regular caregiver is unavailable, respite care is the best option. This care can cover a couple of hours or days. With this short amount of care time, you can audition other caregivers and agencies to see if you want to work with them in the future.
For a regular schedule of a couple hours daily or a few days weekly, part-time care can assist you with household chores like grocery shopping, cooking meals, laundry, house cleaning, or provide company to prevent loneliness. Part-time care is an option for seniors who require assistance around the house, but not really medical aid.
For those who need care 40 hours a week, full-time care is the best option. Full-time care can take place during the day while family is working or care can be provided overnight to prevent falls and dispense medicine.
For seniors who need the constant, supervised health care but want to live at home versus a senior community, live-in care is the best option. There are typically multiple caregivers to split day and night duties.
You can either choose to work with an agency or hire care directly. Agencies will process taxes, paychecks, insurance, and licensing. Plus, an agency has several aides, so you can find a backup quickly in case of illness or an emergency.
If you want to hire directly, you can also choose to hire and pay a family member as the caregiver. Also, if you hire directly, you are the boss and can choose the person you want. However, you are in charge of taxes, accounting, and insurance with a direct hire.
It’s always a good idea to ask around for referrals and read online reviews before hiring an aide or agency. The Better Business Bureau can help you research a home health agency and see if there are any complaints.
If you have a long-term care insurance policy, you may be able to get these services covered if your doctor provides verification that these services are necessary for your medical condition. If you are a low-income senior, you may be eligible to apply for Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, SoonerCare. Wartime veterans and widows may be eligible for a VA Aid & Attendance pension to assist with home care costs.
If you don’t have any insurance or benefits but you own your home, you can think about a reverse mortgage, which pays you for the equity you have in your home. You can also get a lump sum of money by cashing out a life insurance policy early. However, both of these options carry significant tax and inheritance implications. We recommend you discuss options with your financial planner, attorney, or accountant before making a choice.
Find assisted living in Tulsa near you.