I. Paying for Memory Care in Oklahoma

The Cost of Memory Care in Oklahoma

Because of the specialized staff training and resources required to provide high-quality memory care, memory care typically costs more than other types of residential care. On average, memory care will cost 20-30% more than assisted living.

Compared to the monthly national average of $4,051, Oklahoma’s average cost of assisted living is much lower at $3,518 per month. This is also less than the average monthly cost of assisted living in four out of six of its neighboring states. Among those states, Kansas is the most expensive at $4,473 per month, and Missouri is the cheapest at $2,881. Anticipating an average increase of 25% in costs for memory care services, Oklahoma residents can expect to pay monthly rates of around $4,398 for specialized Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care.

Residents of cities throughout Oklahoma may see assisted living rates that vary depending on their location and the facility itself. Tulsa residents, for example, pay an average of $4,370 per month, by far the highest average rate in the state. In Lawton and Oklahoma City, the average monthly cost of assisted living is $3,324, a rate nearly $200 below the state median. Prices in Enid are even less at $2,860 per month. These rates reflect basic assisted living services. The cost of memory care may be around 20-30% more, depending on the location of the facility and the amenities offered.

   

Oklahoma Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

State Plan Personal Care Program

The Oklahoma State Plan Personal Care Program is a Medicaid program that allows individuals requiring assistance with activities of daily living to hire a personal care attendant, so they can remain living in a private residence. Participants may choose their caregiver, as long as the caregiver is not an immediate family member. The program is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and is an entitlement program that enables all who qualify to enroll.

  • Who is Eligible: To qualify, applicants must be Oklahoma residents and require a moderate level of assistance with activities of daily living that is lower than a skilled nursing or intermediate care facility level of need. Individuals must also qualify for Medicaid by meeting its income limit of no more than $1,063 per month and having assets totaling no more than $2,000.
  • How to Apply: Those who wish to apply should contact their local DHS County Office or complete the online application.

ADvantage Services

ADvantage is an Oklahoma Medicaid waiver program that aims to help adults with disabilities remain in their own homes, so they can avoid transferring to nursing homes in the community. Benefits can include personal care services, case management, assisted living, nursing care, adult day care services, home-delivered meals and medical equipment and supplies.

  • Who is Eligible: Participants must be at least 65 years old or between the ages of 21 and 64 with a disability that does not include cognitive impairment to qualify. They must require a medical level of care and meet the Medicaid waiver financial criteria of having an income of no more than $2,349 per month and having no more than $2,000 in assets.
  • How to Apply: To apply, individuals may call the Medical Services Unit at 1-800-435-4711, print and complete a mail-in form or contact or visit their local DHS County Office.

Non-Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs for Memory Care in Oklahoma

Adult Day Health Services

Through the Adult Day Services program, individuals aged 60 and older may receive care services at an adult day care center, allowing them to receive professional services during the day and remain living at home with part-time care from one or more personal caregivers. Services may include assistance with activities of daily living, medication and health monitoring, recreational activities and congregate meals.

  • Who is Eligible: The voucher program is available to care recipients who do not receive respite care assistance through any other program and are aged 59 and younger. They must also require assistance with activities of daily living. For caregivers to qualify, they must not receive services or financial assistance for providing respite care through any other program, earn under $90,000 per year and be an unpaid, full-time caregiver.
  • How to Apply: Caregivers interested in the program should call 1-877-441-0434 to begin the application process. They may also email the program manager with questions at [email protected].

Lifespan Respite Grant Voucher Program

The Lifespan Respite Grant Voucher program issues $400 in respite vouchers to eligible caregivers every three months while funding is available. These vouchers help caregivers receive breaks by hiring outside temporary care for their loved one in need of services.

  • Who is Eligible: The program is available to Oklahoma residents aged 60 and older or individuals of any age with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Those with a monthly income of less than $868 are eligible to receive services for free, and those who earn between $868-$2,083 per month may pay co-payments based on a sliding scale.
  • How to Apply: To apply, interested individuals should contact their preferred Adult Day Services Center and request assistance in completing an application.

More Ways to Pay for Memory Care

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance may be used to pay for memory care services. It’s best to sign up for a policy early, as coverage will likely be denied if one already has long-term care needs. More information about the intricacies of long-term care insurance can be found at longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow some homeowners to take out a loan as an advance from the eventual sale of their primary residence. This can be a good way to fund memory care in the short-term, but the loans will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgages for seniors is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that veterans and their spouses may use to cover health care needs such as memory care. More information about these programs can be found on the VA website.
  • Life Insurance: Some life insurance policies allow policyholders to cash out their policy before a qualifying death. There may be some downsides to accessing a life insurance benefit early, so be sure to read more about the process.

II. Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Oklahoma

Memory Care Regulation

The Department of Health’s Long Term Care Services Division regulates and licenses assisted living facilities and residential care facilities throughout Oklahoma, but only assisted living facilities may provide medical care. All assisted living residents must receive a resident service contract detailing specific policies and information, and facilities providing Alzheimer’s and dementia care must complete a required disclosure form and issue it to the Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Department of Health and anyone seeking residence for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Facility Scope of Care

Facilities may generally define their own scope of care, which can include personal care services, memory care, medication administration, nursing supervision and intermittent nursing care. However, assisted living facilities may not provide full-time skilled nursing care, nor may they serve residents requiring care that exceeds the facility’s capabilities or the level of care they are licensed to provide.

Admissions Requirements

A facility may not admit residents who require care beyond the scope of care the facility is able or licensed to provide. The following table provides an overview of residents who may or may not be admitted:

Residents Who May Be AdmittedOlder adults and people with:

  • Dementia
  • Mental health conditions
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • AIDS
  • Traumatic brain injuries
Residents Who May NOT Be AdmittedThose who:

  • Require a full-time skilled nursing level of care
  • Require physical or chemical restraints outside of emergency situations, as determined by a physician
  • Pose a threat to themselves or others

Care Plan Requirements

Facilities must conduct comprehensive resident assessments at the time of or within 30 days before a resident’s admission, within the 14 days following admission and then every 12 months or whenever the resident experiences a change in condition. Additionally, the disclosure form facilities provide must include the planning and implementation of care, recreational activities and services provided, associated costs, the facility’s safety features and staff training procedures.

Medication Management Requirements

To administer medications, staff members must be licensed by the Department of Health and complete an approved training program. Residents’ medication must be reviewed by a registered nurse or pharmacist monthly, and a consultant pharmacist must perform medication reviews quarterly.

Facility Requirements

Assisted living facilities must adhere to the following regulations:

  • Resident units may be shared by no more than two individuals
  • The facility’s design and interiors must accommodate residents with physical and mental disabilities
  • No more than four residents may share a bathroom, and only one resident may occupy a bathroom at a time
  • Facility buildings must adhere to safety standards issued by the State Fire Marshall or local jurisdiction

Staffing Requirements

Facilities with special memory care units must define specific staffing policies to address residents’ needs and outline the scope of services provided. At least two awake staff members should be on-duty each shift if the facility contains areas of limited access to residents, and one staff member must always be in the restricted area. All staff must be trained to meet residents’ special needs.

All staff members of assisted living facilities may incur criminal arrest checks, and all must pass a fingerprint-based national background check. Additionally, all direct care staff must receive first aid and CPR training. Facilities with only one direct care worker on-site during the night shift must have a plan in place for emergency situations and disclose this information to residents or their representatives. Each facility must have at least one designated administrator who must complete an approved certificate of training or be licensed by the State Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators.

Medicaid Policy

The state’s ADvantage Medicaid waiver may cover the cost of services and case management in an assisted living facility for residents without cognitive impairments or intellectual disabilities.

Reporting Abuse

To report suspicions of any kind of elder abuse, Oklahoma residents should call their local Department of Human Services office. The Statewide Abuse Hotline is also available around-the-clock at 1-800-522-3511. Individuals who wish to issue a complaint against an assisted living facility that may not be compliant with state regulations may email the Oklahoma Department of Health Services at [email protected].

III. Free Memory Care and Alzheimer's Resources in Oklahoma

ResourceContactDescription
Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter800-272-3900The Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association provides dementia-related support services and educational resources to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their loved ones.
The State Council on Aging405-522-3069The State Council on Aging is an appointed group of 30 members organized to advocate for the needs and concerns of Oklahoma seniors.
Alzheimer’s and Caregiver Support GroupsResidents should search for and contact their local county or area support group.The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitative Services lists local support groups for caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.