Oklahoma Residential Alzheimer’s Care (Memory Care): Laws, Costs & Financial Help

Last Updated: March 24, 2024


Assisted living in Oklahoma offers room, board, personal care and assistance with activities of daily living. Facilities may admit residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia into Special Care Units. These units are often called memory care and must outline how their services go beyond normal assisted living to address the needs of people with dementia. That might be done by limiting outside access to wandering residents and dementia-specific training that is a requirement of all staff.

An individualized care plan is provided for every resident in memory care in Oklahoma. It includes answers to the following: What is your loved one’s stage of dementia? Which activities of daily living (like bathing or eating) does the patient need help with? What programs or activities can encourage socialization and help manage symptoms? Residences use multiple assessments to make care decisions, and provide living spaces that are safe and comfortable.

Residents in memory care may also contract with outside healthcare providers for things like: private nursing services, individualized health services, and hospice. Residents can also receive medication administration and intermittent nursing care from the center itself, but not 24-hour nursing care.

Assisted living in Oklahoma is regulated by the Department of Health’s Long Term Care Services Division. There are approximately 60 memory care homes in Oklahoma, ranging in size from apartment-complex-style communities with more than 100 people to home-like board and care homes that serve 12 or fewer. For free help finding memory care of any size to fit your family’s needs and budget, click here.

 Did You Know? About 13% of Oklahomans over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease, one of the lowest rates in the country. The number of people with Alzheimer’s in the state is expected to increase from 67,000 in 2020 to 76,000 in 2025.


How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma is one of the least expensive states for memory care in the United States, coming in well below the national average of $5,884 per month. In 2024 in Oklahoma, memory care costs $5,049 per month. The state’s most expensive city for memory care is its most populated city, Oklahoma City, where it costs $6,281 per month. The most affordable city for memory care is located to the southwest, in Lawton, running $4,652 monthly.

 In Oklahoma, free assistance is available to help families locate a memory care home to meet their needs and budget. Start here.

Though Oklahoma is more affordable than many other states, residents who live near the eastern and southern state borders may have even less expensive options. Arkansas, to the east, averages $4,929 monthly for memory care, and the town of Fort Smith, right on the border, costs about $5,049 per month for memory care. To the south, Texas averages $5,208 monthly, but costs there vary widely. Near the southern Oklahoma border, for instance, is the town of Wichita Falls, where memory care costs $4,572 per month. By expanding your search into other states, it is possible to find more memory care options for your loved one.

Oklahoma Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated Mar. 2024)
Region / City Daily Cost Monthly Cost
Statewide $166 $5,049
Oklahoma City $206 $6,281
Tulsa $166 $5,049
Enid $172 $5,208
Lawton $153 $4,652


Oklahoma Assisted Living Laws & Regulations

 COVID-19 Related Measures (updated Sept. 2022)
Residents – Their temperatures are checked and patients are also tested regularly.
Visitors – Can visit loved ones, must wear a mask and temperature is checked upon entry.
Staff – Have temperatures checked upon entry and are regularly tested.


Admissions Process & Requirements

Within 30 days of moving in, a new memory care resident must be assessed for medical and personal needs. This is done by using a standardized form provided by the state. Also, within 14 days a more comprehensive assessment must be completed to determine what a resident needs to be best supported in the community. The comprehensive assessment must be updated every year. Assessments are performed by medical professionals working for the memory care community, and the cost of assessing may be included with the base rate or part of a one-time community fee that covers all up-front costs (including deep cleaning and painting a new resident’s room). Community fees usually run between $1,500 and $2,500.

Someone may not move into assisted living centers if:

– Medical or personal needs go beyond what the residence can provide
– Physical or chemical restraints are required
– They are dangerous to themselves or others

Anyone interested in moving into memory care in Oklahoma is entitled to a disclosure form that explains the following:

– Types of services provided
– Any additional services and costs
– The residence’s admissions process
– Details on structured activities that benefit residents with dementia
– Staffing and staff training
– Safety features

You do not have to have an official diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, in order to move into memory care. Dementias are hard to diagnose; expensive tests like PET brain scans are necessary, and symptoms change and vary depending on the individual.

It is possible to move into assisted living in Oklahoma on short notice, but this is not a good idea. Finding the right memory care community for your loved one is so important that you should investigate as many potential homes as possible before making a decision. Additionally, your loved one will have more input into the decision the earlier you start looking.


Facility / Residence

Oklahoma does not have a minimum square footage requirement for residents’ bedrooms. Regulations say that the design must be appropriate for the mental and physical disabilities of people who live in it. The maximum number of people allowed in one bedroom is two. There needs to be a bathroom for every four people living in an assisted living facility.

Regulations are not specific about dementia-friendly designs in memory care homes. In other states, this means clear sightlines and easy-to-navigate layouts, as well as a secure outdoor area, special locks to prevent wandering, and soft paint colors. Features like these have been shown to help with symptoms. As you investigate living options for your loved one with dementia, keep an eye on whether the spaces are safe and comfortable.


Staff & Training

There is no staff-to-resident ratio in Oklahoma assisted living. There must always be enough people to support the needs of every resident and someone who is awake at all times, including the night. Any staff providing socialization, or leading activities including exercise, must go through a training classification. Employees who work directly with residents must be trained in first aid and CPR. An administrator responsible for operations must be designated at every center. Administrators are licensed by the state and must have 16 hours of continuing education annually.


Evictions & Discharges

Assisted living homes must give at least 30 days notice before an eviction, except when there is a threat to safety. Unlike other states, Oklahoma regulations do not require the residence to help find a new home for someone who is being evicted. A person can be evicted because:

– The need for care is greater than what the residence can provide
– Physical or chemical restraints become necessary

If your loved one moves into memory care and then sees a drastic health change, this may not necessarily require moving out. The residence can work with your doctor to accommodate needs by formulating a written plan and then reviewing the plan every three months. Without an agreed-upon plan, eviction may be necessary.

Memory care homes may have their own specific guidelines for how and why a person can be discharged, and it’s important you know them because unfair evictions can be a problem in assisted living nationwide. Before agreeing to a contract to move into a home, ask for the exact reasons a person can be told to leave, and what the next steps are, including how to appeal. Get the answers in writing. If your loved one in Oklahoma has received an eviction notice and you need to know next steps, click here.


Financial Assistance for Residential Alzheimer’s Memory Care

ADvantage Program Waiver

This is a home and community-based services program that is part of Medicaid and meant to help people remain in their houses or assisted living communities, instead of moving into a nursing home. The Medicaid ADvantage Program Waiver provides financial assistance to cover costs including personal care, nursing, transportation, occupational therapy, and more. Participants can have their care options managed by the state or a caregiver of their choosing which can include a family member. Support services within assisted living, like laundry and meals, are also covered. To receive benefits, you must be Medicaid-eligible. The eligibility requirements in Oklahoma in 2024 include a monthly income under $2,829, countable assets less than $2,000, and a documented medical need for a nursing home level of care. For more information, including how to apply and who to contact, click here. A waitlist can apply because there is an enrollment cap that currently is limited to 24,375 enrollees. Click here to take a fast and non-binding Medicaid eligibility test.


Oklahoma Personal Care Program

The Oklahoma State Plan Personal Care (SPPC) is a Medicaid program that may be available to people living in memory care, though their coverage is less than the benefits provided under the ADvantage waiver. Personal Care provides funds to help pay for caregivers who assist with activities of daily living. Additional benefits include shopping, laundry, meal prep, and skilled nursing. Applicants must be Medicaid-eligible and live in their own homes or that of a loved one. In 2024 the eligibility requirements are income under $1,255, countable assets less than $9,430, and a need for assistance with one or more activities of daily living. For a brochure with more information, click here. For more on how to apply, visit the program’s website here. To see if your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, take a fast and non-binding eligibility test here.

  Both of these are Medicaid programs. Learn more about Oklahoma Medicaid eligibility criteria or take an online Medicaid eligibility test


Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veterans are statistically more likely to develop dementia. Among the reasons for this is that traumatic brain injuries and posttraumatic stress disorder lead to a higher probability of developing the condition. The VA offers many benefits for Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as different pension types.


VA Pensions

There are three types of VA Pensions available. The benefits change annually and are valid from December 2023 to December 2024. The benefits (and their maximum allowance) are as follows:

1) Basic Pension – This benefit is also known as a death pension. It is for veterans and surviving spouses who are aged or disabled. The qualifying disability does not need to be related to their military service. On an annual basis, the Basic Pension pays:

– Veterans without spouses or children up to $16,551

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children up to $21,674

– Surviving spouses without dependent children up to $11,102

2) Aid & Attendance – Abbreviated as A&A, this is an important program for veterans and their surviving spouses who require assistance with activities of daily living. This means they need assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating. A&A is particularly helpful for people with dementia, especially in the middle and later stages of the disease, when the need for more assistance becomes necessary. A&A is intended to help with the long-term care costs of adult day care, in-home care, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Based on an individual’s need and the progression of the disease, most of these additional services that support your loved one will become necessary. Annually, the A&A pays:

– Veterans without spouses or children a maximum of $27,609

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children a maximum of $32,729

– Surviving spouses without dependent children a maximum of $17,743

3) Housebound – For veterans and surviving spouses who are permanently disabled and unable to leave their homes, making them require additional assistance. The definition of “home” can include assisted living, memory care, and nursing home. The Housebound pension, like the A&A pension, is meant to help cover long-term care costs. Annually, the Housebound pays:

– Veterans without spouses or children a maximum of $20,226

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children a maximum of $25,348

– Surviving spouses without dependent children a maximum of $13,568

 More information on VA Pensions’ eligibility criteria, payment rates and the application process is available here.


Veterans Homes

There are also seven veterans’ homes in Oklahoma, which are residential care facilities that provide long-term care for veterans. In addition to nursing home care and assisted living, memory care is provided at:

– The Oklahoma Veterans Center in Talihina. It is located in the southeastern part of the state, in the Kiamichi Valley, and has a 30 bed memory care unit.

– The Oklahoma Veterans Center in Clinton. It is located in the northern Great Plains country and has a 50 bed memory care unit.

– The Oklahoma Veterans Center in Sulphur. It is located an hour and a half drive south of Oklahoma City and has a 30 bed memory care unit.

– The Oklahoma Veterans Center in Ardmore. It is located approximately two to the south of Oklahoma City.

Neighboring states also have veterans’ homes, so your loved one might consider looking there for more options as there are no requirements that one must live in the state. For example, Texas has nine veterans’ homes statewide. Additionally, Arkansas and Kansas both have two facilities. More info.


Other Options

1) Elder care loans exist for families to cover the costs of moving into memory care while waiting for other financial resources to become available. For example, if one is waiting for a VA pension to be approved or waiting to sell a home. More on bridge loans for memory care.

2) Tax credits and deductions like the Credit for the Elderly and the Disabled, or the Child and Dependent Care Credit (if you can claim your elderly loved one as a dependent). Remember also that medical and dental expenses can be deducted, and that can include assisted living costs.

3) A reverse mortgage can be an option for a married person moving into memory care, if their spouse continues to live in the home. However, if the spouse moves from their home, the reverse mortgage becomes due.