The Alzheimer’s Association reports that Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth-leading cause of death in Oklahoma. In 2019, 1,775 Oklahoma seniors died from this disease, a 178% increase over the number of deaths recorded in 2000.
Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
This guide will cover the cost of memory care in Oklahoma, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Oklahoma.
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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.
There are no authoritative data sources that outline memory care costs, so we estimated rates by adding 25% to assisted living costs listed in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
In Oklahoma, memory care residents pay $4,819 monthly for services, making this one of the cheapest places in the nation to obtain this level of care. By comparison, costs in the United States as a whole are estimated at $5,625. In Arkansas, rates are even lower at $4,700 per month. In Texas, memory care residents pay $4,998 for services, and in Kansas, care costs are closer to the national average at $5,725.
Throughout Oklahoma, monthly memory care rates vary considerably depending on factors such as local costs of living. Lawton is the cheapest place to obtain care, with fees averaging well below state and national averages at $4,451. In Enid, care costs are consistent with the state median at $4,975. Oklahoma City is the most expensive place to obtain care, with rates estimated at $6,000.
SoonerCare, Oklahoma's Medicaid program, provides comprehensive health insurance coverage for older adults who may otherwise have difficulty paying for care. This entitlement program pays for services such as case management, medical equipment, primary and specialty care and inpatient hospital services. While SoonerCare doesn't cover memory care services directly, it provides coverage for this type of care under the ADvantage Waiver Program.
ADvantage Waiver Program
The ADvantage Waiver Program is for older adults who qualify for the level of care nursing homes provide but want to remain in or transition to a less intensive environment. This waiver program may cover memory care services in licensed facilities. Depending on the individual's needs, the waiver may also pay for:
A caseworker works with beneficiaries to determine their needs and approves payment for services necessary for keeping them out of a nursing home.
SoonerCare applicants must meet income guidelines to qualify for coverage. Single applicants may have an annual income of up to $13,596. This option includes all income sources, including public benefits, stock dividends and pension payments. They may also have up to $2,000 in countable assets. Married applicants have higher income and asset limits of $18,312 and $3,000, respectively. Those who don't meet these requirements may still qualify for Medicaid through spending down excess assets, by depositing money in a Miller Trust or through Medicaid planning.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Oklahoma
|family size||annual income limits||asset limits|
|Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)||$18,312||$3,000|
|Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)||$18,312||$3,000|
Applicants must also meet nonfinancial eligibility criteria to qualify for SoonerCare. They must be:
Applying for SoonerCare can be a confusing process, but fortunately, older adults in Oklahoma have advocates and information specialists who can help. The following resources help consumers understand SoonerCare's coverage, waiver programs eligibility guidelines. It also helps seniors find information on what to do if they exceed financial limits or if a claim is handled unfairly.
|SoonerCare Helpline||800-987-7767||Seniors and families can get help with the online application process or answers to questions regarding their coverage by contacting the SoonerCare Helpline. The helpline is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Oklahoma Health Care Authority||405-522-7300||Oklahoma Health Care Authority operates the state's Medicaid program and publishes helpful information on how to apply for coverage, SoonerCare's benefits and how to locate covered transportation services. The website also features the MySoonerCare Portal and has an up-to-date list of Medicaid-registered health care providers throughout the state.|
|DHS ADvantage Administration||800-435-4711||ADvantage Administration operates the Medicaid waiver that covers memory care services for qualified individuals. Through this website, individuals can learn more about the waiver program and its benefits.|
|American Council on Aging||Online Contact Form||The American Council on Aging has current information on SoonerCare's eligibility guidelines and what individuals can do to meet qualifications if they exceed income and asset limits. The website also has instructions on how to connect with Medicaid planners in Oklahoma.|
Unfortunately, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of Memory Care. Most Memory Care Facilities are considered to be "social settings," so Medicare does not cover the cost incurred in these facilities. The only exception to that is if you are receiving memory care services in a Nursing Home. While this situation is much less common, Medicare would sometimes cover the cost, depending on a number of circumstances.
That being said, Medicare does still cover qualified doctor visits, medications, etc., as it would if you were still at home, but it will not cover the cost of care received at the Memory Care Facility.
In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:
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.
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.
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 Admitted
Older adults and people with:
Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted
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.
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.
Assisted living facilities must adhere to the following regulations:
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.
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.
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 LTCComplaints@health.ok.gov.
Oklahoma has a broad range of resources for seniors and families affected by dementia, helping them access personalized services and programs that provide educational, informational and recreational opportunities. The following table highlights the top resources in the state that support the safety and quality of life of those with dementia.
|Alzheimer's Association Oklahoma Chapter||800-272-3900||The Oklahoma Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association hosts support groups, early-stage engagement activities and educational workshops throughout the state. The organization also has a free helpline that individuals can call for information and referrals for community-based resources, as well as an easy-to-navigate online Community Resource Finder.|
|Oklahoma Dementia Care Network||The Oklahoma Dementia Care Network is a service of OU Health. Oklahoma residents can find community events such as educational sessions and virtual conferences that address dementia-related issues through this service.|
|Oklahoma Healthy Brain Program||405-426-8300||The Oklahoma Healthy Brain Program promotes dementia awareness and provides resources for those affected by Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.|
|Oklahoma Care Planning Council||Online Only||The Oklahoma Care Planning Council helps seniors and families locate long-term care services in their communities and research options for paying for care, including reverse mortgages and veterans' benefits. It provides an up-to-date list of memory care facilities throughout the state as well as agencies that offer specialized services for seniors.|
|Area Agencies on Aging||800-211-2116||Eleven Area Agencies on Aging serve those aged 60 and over in Oklahoma, promoting access to information, referrals and high-quality care. Seniors and families can contact their region's AAA for personalized options counseling, which can help them find residential dementia services and options for paying for care.|
|Long-Term Care Ombudsman||405-521-2281||The state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has volunteers who visit memory care facilities throughout the state to ensure compliance with state regulations and advocate on behalf of residents. The ombudsman can also follow up on concerns regarding abuse or neglect.|
|Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP)||800-763-2828||SHIP provides free, unbiased Medicare options counseling for seniors, which may help them identify ways to cover medical and long-term care expenses. Its counselors can also help seniors and families understand medical bills and resolve issues such as denied health insurance claims or canceled policies.|
Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/13/2022. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your Memory Care Facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.
|Am I allowed to visit my loved one in person?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Is my loved one required to quarantine after I visit him or her?||No|
|Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?||Yes|
|Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are residents allowed to leave the facility at-will?||Yes|
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?||No (Conditions Apply)|
|Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?||Yes|
|Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|