News Release

September 30, 2010

OHCA Contact: Carter Kimble, Public Information Manager, (405) 522-7474.

New Doors Are Opened For Oklahomans With Living Choice Program

OKLAHOMA CITY- Wilma Benedict made a choice, she chose to go home.

Benedict is an example of an average Oklahoman who was given a choice – continue to live in a nursing home or move home. Prior to October 2009, moving home wasn’t an option.

She is a part of the Oklahoma Living Choice program, which is run by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Living Choice promotes community living for people of all ages who have disabilities or long-term illnesses. Through this program individuals may have the option to use resources that normally are designated for nursing home facilities and apply it towards transitioning back into the community.

The 79-year-old Woodward resident was hospitalized two years ago for heart complications. Following multiple trips to the hospital, she was forced to find residence in a nursing home. After 15 months in a nursing home, Benedict was looking for other options.

“I told my case worker I was getting out of the nursing home, one way or another,” Benedict said.

This was where Living Choice was able to help. Transition coordinators help people make the move from living in a facility to living in their own homes.  For Wilma, this was a huge attraction to the program. They helped her get furniture, groceries and home furnishing items. In April 2010, Wilma was able to move into her own home. Things that might be considered everyday for most are now available again for Wilma.

“I don’t live a fast life, just a normal life,” said Benedict. “Next year I’ll be 80 and plan on staying right here.”

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority operates Living Choice through a Money Follows the Person grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Oklahomans of all ages with disabilities or long-term illnesses who live in an institution are given the freedom and choice to live in a community setting. If you or someone you know would like more information, please call toll-free 888-287-2443 or visit the OHCA website at www.oklivingchoice.com.

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