The Oklahoma Aging Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is required to submit a state plan on aging every four years in compliance with the Older Americans Act. While “standard” in its content and program, this plan provides interested community planners with some insights into action steps and programs implemented in Oklahoma that may be applicable to their own locality.
Oklahoma is rapidly feeling the effects of an aging society, with a dramatic 66 percent increase in the 60+ demographic. One in four Oklahomans will be over 60 by 2030, and with state revenue shortages, Oklahoma is looking for creative funding solutions to offset the impact on existing services.
Other plan highlights include:
- Over ten percent of Oklahoma’s senior population lives below poverty as of 2010 (page 9). Nearly half (47 percent) of those over age 65 are disabled, and in all but three health categories, Oklahoma has received sub-par grading by the State Department of Health (five “F’s” and a “D”). Providing health services to a growing number of older Oklahomans who can least afford it will be a major hurdle in coming years.
- Oklahoma’s four-year strategy focuses on expanding the role of “statewide Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)” to provide local points of information and services with shared state-wide infrastructure (informational systems, organizational supervision, etc.). They are also structuring ADRCs so that future grant applications and partnerships, like those with the Oklahoma Mental Health and Aging Coalition, can be developed on the local level.
- Oklahoma is doing all it can to foster aging in place initiatives through partnerships that provide vouchers to caregivers to pay for respite care via the Oklahoma Respite Resource Network and through ADvantage, a Medicaid waiver program. The strategic plan expands on Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) through the implementation of a new “cash and counseling” pilot program (titled Consumer Directed Person Assistance Services and Supports Program (CD-PASS)) in the area of Tulsa. If results continue as expected, they anticipate statewide adoption of the CD-PASS program within the next four years.
How to Use
Oklahoma’s State Plan on Aging focuses on “choice and independence” for seniors (page 7), two goals local governments and planners will want to emulate. A closer look at the CD-PASS program and how Oklahoma is implementing ADRC programs may prove valuable examples of new initiatives meeting the needs of seniors using creative funding.
View full report: Oklahoma State Plan on Aging – 2011-2014 (PDF – 187 KB)