Though not a traditional retirement locale, with its low cost of living and favorable weather conditions, Oklahoma has become one of the ideal retirement destinations in the country.
Housing cost is 25.3% lower than the national average in the Sooner State. It is also one of the cheapest states when it comes to healthcare and groceries, making it an appealing choice for seniors looking to make the most of their fixed income.
If you find yourself lacking sufficient savings or are living alone, Oklahoma offers a range of supportive programs to enhance your quality of retirement life and provide the care you need. In this guide to Oklahoma assistance programs for the elderly, we will help you navigate through various programs and provide a comprehensive introduction to their offering such as daily chore services, in-home assistance, legal aid services, personal care and financial assistance.
Oklahoma Aging Services Division (ASD)
For an overview, the Aging Services Division (ASD) of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) plays a leading role in supporting the independence and quality of retirement life of Oklahomans 60 years of age and above.
ASD administers Older Americans Act programs and funding, and works with 11 area agencies on aging (AAAs) to implement programs for seniors around the state. The local area agency on aging serves as a contact point in your neighbourhood for emergency help as well as long-term assistance, including one-on-one assistance, home delivered meals, caregiver assistance, health promotion and legal assistance.
The quickest way to find available resources around where you live is to contact the local Area Agencies on Aging. Aging offices will assess the needs of each applicant and review their relevant needs each year. You may find more details of the eligibility requirements and application processes for the programs that you may qualify for from its website or by calling the Senior Info-line at 1-800-211-2116.
Below we will give you an overview of some of the most-relevant programs for seniors in Oklahoma.
Health and Well-being
Area agencies provide a series of health promotion programs to improve seniors' physical and mental well-being, such as educational presentations, exercise programs, and health screening activities. These programs also support family members and other individuals providing voluntary care to older persons in need of long-term care services.
Congregate and homebound meal participants can also get free nutrition education from aging offices, including information on the benefits of healthy eating and physical fitness.
Balancing medical costs with other living expenses can be challenging when you are living on limited retirement income. Luckily, there are two programs specifically designed to assist low income seniors in managing Medicare expenses:
Low Income Subsidy (LIS) or "Extra Help"
As the name suggests, the program offers extra help for seniors that participate in Medicare and have trouble paying for their prescription medications. The eligibility criteria include marital status, income, and other available resources.
Medicare Savings Program
Similarly, if you are eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B and meet the specific requirements on income and resources, you may qualify for the Medicare Saving Program and have your Part A and/or Part B premiums reduced or eliminated.
If you're raising a grandchild and need a temporary break from all the caregiving duties, respite vouchers are exactly what you need. The voucher allows you to pay another caregiver for respite care, so you can leverage the hours to relax and recharge yourself. There are no income restrictions for older persons age 55 and above.
The local aging office also offers a wide range of programs that help ease senior citizens' financial stress.
One handy service is free transportation for older persons to travel independently from home to locations like the local nutrition site, senior centers, banks and groceries.
If you're facing a water crisis or need financial aid for your water bill, the Low Income Home Water Assistance Programs (LIHWAP) can be another good resource. The program provides funds to those in need and gives priority to the elderly. Free individual legal assistance is available statewide. You can contact your local aging office to get more details.
Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Maintaining a fulfilling social life plays a crucial role in promoting the quality of retirement life, and also in helping to deal with loneliness and depression. Yet the tools that are required to help you stay connected with friends and families, such as smartphones and tablets and stable internet connection, can come with significant cost.
But don't worry, here we have some exciting news for you! If you meet the qualifications for the senior services mentioned earlier, there's a good chance that you are also eligible for the federal government's Lifeline Program and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
These two programs aim to make mobile phone and internet services affordable to low-income American families, including senior citizens. The idea is to help you stay connected with loved ones and friends without straining your budget.
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Alternatively, you can visit one of our 30 stores in Oklahoma, where our service staff will help you with the application, including getting you through the complex National Verifier process to confirm your eligibility.
All we need is one of the following government-issued IDs as your identity proof:
- U.S. Driver License
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Government, State or Tribal issued-ID
- U.S. Military ID cards
- Permanent Resident Cards
- Permanent Resident Alien Cards
Visit us for all your cell phone and wireless service needs today!