Assisted Living in Wyoming
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Families looking for assisted living in Wyoming (WY) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 83 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 15.8 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Wyoming will pay $3,415 per month on average.
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What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Wyoming
In the State of Wyoming, an assisted living facility is a non-institutional dwelling that provides limited nursing care, board, and personal assistance to residents unrelated to the owner. These facilities may be operated by an individual, a firm or a corporation. The state licenses two types of ALFs depending upon the existence of a secure unit. Type II facilities, which include a secure unit, have additional legal requirements. Assisted living facilities in Wyoming are not to be confused with boarding homes, the state’s other legally-defined non-institutional dwelling which offers rooms for let, meals and personal daily living care but no nursing or services to help improve physical and mental capabilities.
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Wyoming
Unlike most other states in the U.S., Wyoming does not offer supplemental Social Security benefits to help residents meet the financial demands of an assisted living facility. There is, however, another option for low-income seniors interested in assisted living.
Assisted Living Facility Waiver
Wyoming residents who find themselves in need of advanced care in order to avoid placement in a nursing home may avail themselves of the Assisted Living Facility Waiver. This government-sponsored subsidy helps allay the cost of specialized services but does not go toward room and board; those fees remain the responsibility of the resident or their representative.
Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for the Assisted Living Facility Waiver, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Wyoming and be at least 65 years of age or older or blind or disabled. Applicants must also meet medical eligibility requirements (as checked by a public health nurse), show financial need and have limited personal resources.
How to Apply
For more information on waiver eligibility or to apply, visit the Wyoming Department of Health’s website..IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all assisted living facilities will accept the subsidy program listed above. When applying for a room in an assisted living community, it’s essential to ask the financial services representative which subsidies they accept and whether the facility itself offers financial assistance for its low-income residents.
More Ways to Finance Assisted Living
While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.
Free Assisted Living Resources in Wyoming
Researching assisted living can be a confusing process, but there are numerous agencies and nonprofit agencies in Wyoming that provide free information and guidance to seniors in need. For older Wyoming residents and their families, these organizations serve as invaluable resources that may lead to more confident decision making and beneficial financial assistance.
Wyoming Area Agencies on Aging
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s mission is to support aging Americans and help those individuals make a decision that reflects their personal choices and protect their dignity. This includes help with exploring assisted living facilities and related concerns.Visit the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging to find free aging resources or contact the Wyoming Department of Health's Aging Division for links to supportive and nutritional services, caregiver support, information on certified nurse aides, inspection reports on nursing homes and other senior care facilities and more.
2300 Capitol Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
(302) 777-7995; (800) 442-2766
Military veterans and their spouses can find information on assisted living and other senior care options by contacting their local VA Center. Experienced staffers will help vets and their families understand their choices in terms of assisted living and alternatives as well as any VA benefits that may apply.For more information on VA programs and benefit eligibility, contact one of the following VA Centers in Wyoming:
Social Security doesn’t specifically cover assisted living care in Wyoming, but residents may qualify for other money they can use toward the food and lodging portion of their care.To explore eligibility, contact a local Social Security office directly using the contact information here or via the listings below:
150 East B St, Casper, WY 82601
1-866-964-3972 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
3001 E Pershing Blvd, Cheyenne, WY 82001
1-866-336-7580 or TTY: 1-307-772-2144
1285 Sheridan Ave, Cody, WY 82414
1-844-345-3522 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
215 Big Bend Ave, Riverton, WY 82501
1-866-331-2198 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
79 Winston Dr, Rock Springs, WY 82901
1-855-881-0211 or TTY: 1-307-362-7984
909 Long Drive, Sheridan, WY 82901
1-866-530-7798 or TTY: 1-800-325-0778
The Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for local seniors in assisted living and other long-term care situations. The ombudsman listens to complaints and concerns regarding everything from medication administration to Medicare billing to overall care and looks to resolve those issues so seniors receive the quality of life they deserve.There are currently four ombudsman offices in Wyoming:
State of Wyoming Long Term Care Ombudsman
2515 Warren Ave., Suite 303, Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-2885; (307) 777-7995
3120 Old Faithful Road, Suite 200
(307) 634-1010; (877) 634-1005
951 Werner Court, Suite 295
(307) 235-5959; (877) 634-1006
106 East Adams Avenue, Riverton, WY 82501
(307) 856-6880; (800) 856-4398
The volunteer-staffed Wyoming State Health Insurance Information Program (WSHIIP) helps Wyoming residents understand their insurance benefits including any government supplements and private insurance options that could help pay for assisted living. Services are free and specially trained counselors are available by phone and in person for personal consultations.For more information, call (800) 856-4398 or visit one of Wyoming’s regional WSHIIP offices.
106 West Adams Avenue, Riverton, WY 82501
951 Werner Court, Suite 295, Casper, WY 82601
3120 Old Faithful Road, Suite 200, Cheyenne, WY 82001
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Wyoming
Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements
All assisted living residents in Wyoming must have a service plan based on an assessment completed by a registered nurse (RN). That RN uses a screening tool, called the “Long-Term Care 102 Form,” required by the state. This screening must be done at least a week prior to a new resident’s admission and will be repeated on an annual basis as well as whenever a resident shows signs of a notable change in their overall health condition.
Assisted living facilities use the results of the screening assessment to create a personalized service plan for each resident as well as to review and revise that plan in the future. Service plans must include details regarding:
- What services are required
- Who will provide those services
- When the services will take place
- How the services will take place
- The expected outcome of the required services
Though service planning is spearheaded by an RN and facility management, residents must be included in plan development and they may also involve a relative or other preferred representative or support person. During the planning process, the assessment team must listen to and incorporate the resident’s rights in terms of the “the principles of dignity, privacy, choice, individuality, independence, and home-like environment.”
Assisted Living Admission Requirements
Any resident admitted to an assisted living facility in Wyoming must also have a physician-completed medical history and proof of a physical conducted within the 90-day period leading up to admission.
Only those applicants whose needs can be fully met by the facility may be admitted. Applicants who require the following services are not eligible for placement in an assisted living community in Wyoming:
- Regular help with mobility and transfers
- Ongoing assistance with basic daily care such as bathing, dressing and eating
- Catherization, an ostomy or general incontinence care
- Oxygen supplementation that requires constant monitoring
- High-level supervision due to wandering or health and safety concerns
- Wound care
- Advanced skin care
- Complex restricted diets
- Inappropriate behavior in a social setting
- Frequent aggression
- Abusive or disruptive behavior
- Risky chemical abuse
- Inability or refusal to abide by facility policies
- Behavior dangerous to self or others
Assisted Living Scope of Care
Assisted living facilities are tasked with providing and/or facilitating crucial services such as transportation assistance, recreational services, social services and medical, dental and optical care. The facility must provide some help with personal care such as bathing, hair washing and dressing as well. In terms of medical help, staff aid mobility-impaired residents with occasional transport assistance, give confused individuals reminders to help orient them, administer limited assistance with incontinence and catheter/ostomy care and guide visually impaired individuals as needed.
Assisted living facilities in Wyoming may operate a secure dementia unit, but such an operation requires a Level II certification and a slate of additional services related to cognitive-specific needs.
Assisted Living Medicaid Policy
Wyoming does not offer Social Security supplementation to residents interested in assisted living, however, some low-income seniors may be eligible for an Assisted Living Facility Waiver to help defray the costs of case management and daily care. Not all assisted living communities will accept Medicaid-based subsidies, so it’s essential that applicants ask each facility’s financial advisor about acceptable payment options early on in the consideration process.
Assisted Living Facility Requirements
While Wyoming does not require assisted living facilities to offer residents apartment-style units, a 2009 Medicaid regulation mandates that facilities choosing to offer apartment-style housing must let residents choose their own unit mates.
Other provisions state that:
- Consenting parties that choose to live together may do so in a single-bed sleeping room so long as the bed is a double sized or larger
- There must be one flush toilet and one sink for every two residents
- There must be one tub and shower for every ten residents
- Private rooms must account for one-half of the facility’s total licensed beds
Medication Management Regulations
The Wyoming Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations, as well as the Wyoming Nurse Practice Act, dictate medication administration in Wyoming’s assisted living facilities. According to those entities, medication management falls under the domain of a registered nurse (RN) who must review residents’ medications on a bi-monthly basis or whenever a prescription is created or altered.
That RN must also document essential details such as whether medications are self-administered and whether residents can physically take oral medications. Unlicensed staff members are limited to self-administered oral medications only, with assistance limited to simple actions such as issuing medication reminders, removing caps and observing residents while they take their medicine.
Residents who can't self-administer their own medications must rely on the services of an RN or LPN.
Assisted living facilities must have a manager who oversees daily operations and monitors staff training. Facilities must also either hire a registered nurse (RN) or contract with one to take care of essential tasks such as assessments, service plans, service plan reviews and medication.
While Wyoming has no minimum staff ratios, assisted living communities must always have enough staff on site to deliver the appropriate care according to residents’ needs, including at least one RN, LPN, or CNA per shift and one on-duty staffer who is awake throughout the shift.
Staff Training Requirements
Facility staff receive job orientation upon hire, so they’re educated on resident rights, evacuation plans, emergency procedures, and more. Other training pertains to resident care.
Facility administrators are required to sign up and complete yearly continuing education totaling at least 16 hours.
Background Checks for Assisted Living
Background checks are mandatory for all assisted living staff before they’re allowed to interact with residents. These checks must include fingerprinting courtesy of The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation as well as a check by the Department of Family Services Registry Screening.
Requirements for Reporting Abuse
Wyoming is a mandatory reporting state, meaning anyone who suspects elder abuse, exploitation or abuse must legally report their suspicions to the property authorities.
Assisted living facility staff members, volunteers, residents, residents’ loved ones or any other party should report suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services, to any local law enforcement agency or by calling (800) 457-3659.