Oklahoma has been deemed the most affordable state in the nation for seniors, in a new ranking that looked at both the costs and accessibility of care and services.
The Sooner State ranked third overall for the average cost of senior care in the list from Caring.com, a web platform that connects consumers with senior housing and care providers. To calculate the affordability score, the researchers used internal Caring.com data as well as the 2017 Cost of Care report from insurer Genworth.
Oklahoma’s median annual cost for an in-home care aide clocked in at about $48,000. That’s slightly less than the national median of $49,188, as per the Genworth data. At $36,390, the annual media cost for assisted living facility care in Oklahoma is $8,000 less than the national median. The numbers are even more striking from nursing home care. In Oklahoma, the annual median cost for a nursing home is $53,655, which is more than $32,000 less than the national median.
However, there’s a trade-off in terms of the accessibility of services in Oklahoma. It ranked No. 24 in the nation in this category, based on the 2017 Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard from AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation.
“In a lot of rural areas in the country you’re going to have much cheaper costs, but you’ll probably have to make sacrifices when it comes to accessing medical care and senior facilities,” said Stephan Weller, professor of economics at Colorado State University’s Regional Economic Development Institute, in a Caring.com website post detailing the findings. “Conversely, vibrant and attractive coastal or urban regions are going to be expensive but also brimming with care options. That’s just the nature of the beast.”
Mississippi and Missouri took second and third place. Here’s the complete top 10 list:
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wyoming, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Hawaii were determined to be the least affordable states for seniors.
Click here to see all 50 states ranked.
Written by Tim Mullaney