Memory Care in Wyoming
Wyoming is known as a great place to retire and spend life’s golden years. Just over 578,000 residents call Wyoming home, and more than 17% of those living here are seniors aged 65 and older. Furthermore, more than 10,000 seniors in Wyoming were living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia as of 2020, and by 2025, that number is expected to increase to 13,000, an increase of 30%. Sadly, an estimated 238 Wyoming seniors die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the fifth-leading cause of death in the state.
Wyoming has a seasonal climate, making it a great location for seniors who appreciate mild summers and snowy winters. The state is tax-friendly for seniors, as it doesn’t tax any form of retirement income, including Social Security benefits. The cost of living in Wyoming is lower overall than the U.S. average; however, healthcare costs are more than 30% higher. Those who need residential memory care services in Wyoming typically pay about $5,211 per month.
Memory care can be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but it’s more often provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
This guide provides an overview of the cost of residential memory care in Wyoming, including comparisons to costs of other types of long-term care throughout the state. Additionally, details regarding how to pay for memory care and regulations these programs must adhere to are outlined below.
The Cost of Memory Care in Wyoming
Note: Assisted living facilities typically provide memory care services. The rates for memory care are generally 20-30% higher than those for assisted living. Because there is no trusted data available that tracks memory care costs, we’ve estimated them by increasing assisted living rates provided by the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey by 25%.
At an average of $5,211 per month, the cost of memory care in Wyoming is about mid-range when compared with other states in the area. While Montana ($5,563) and Colorado ($5,937) are more expensive than Wyoming, memory care costs in Utah ($4,375), Nebraska ($5,095) and Idaho ($4,798) are more affordable.
The United States
Memory care rates vary dramatically throughout Wyoming, with seniors in the Casper area paying an average of $6,055 per month and those in Cheyenne paying a much higher rate of $6,923. Nearby in Idaho Falls, Idaho, seniors pay much less at $4,375 per month, while the same can be said for those in Rapid City, South Dakota, where the cost is an average of $4,893 monthly. In Denver, Colorado, the monthly cost is similar to Cheyenne’s at $6,875 per month.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Rapid City, South Dakota
There are several options for long-term care in Wyoming. While memory care is one option, assisted living is a less-expensive option at $4,169, making it an attractive choice for seniors who don’t live with memory loss. Those who are capable of living at home can access home care or home health care services for $5,529 per month; alternatively, they can choose to rely on the help of adult day health care facilities at an average cost of $1,733 per month. Seniors who need full-time medical care should consider a nursing home, which carries an average monthly cost of $6,996 for a semiprivate room or $7,535 for a private room.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Care
Nursing Home (semiprivate)
Nursing Home (private)
Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Wyoming?
Note: For the purposes of this guide, when we say “Memory Care” we are referring to memory care provided in a “social setting,” such as an Assisted Living Facility. This is the most common way to receive Memory Care and is the best fit for all but the frailest seniors. Sometimes the actual service of memory care can be provided in a Nursing Home (“medical setting”), so the financial assistance options will be very different. To learn more about the financial assistance options available for memory care provided in a nursing home, read our guide to Nursing Home Care in Wyoming.
What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Wyoming?
Wyoming’s Medicaid program doesn’t directly cover memory care or assisted living for seniors. However, seniors living with cognitive decline may be able to access some assistance under the state’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers.
The Community Choices Waiver can pay care costs for seniors with memory loss residing in assisted living facilities, but it doesn’t cover their room and board fees. The Assisted Living Facility Waiver is for adults in need of nursing home levels of care who can get what they need in an assisted living facility. To qualify, the applicant must first be assessed by a public health official to determine if an assisted living facility is appropriate. The Comprehensive Waiver covers community and facility care and is most useful for seniors transitioning from one to the other as they won’t then need to apply for a different waiver when they move.
Memory Care Waiver Programs in Wyoming
Wyoming’s three waiver programs to support seniors with memory loss conditions all deliver relatively similar services, but under different conditions. The Comprehensive and Assisted Living Facility waivers, for example, can be used towards care costs in a facility or the community, while the Community Choices Waiver is primarily for those receiving support at home.
How to Apply
How it Works
Community Choices Waiver
Call (855) 294-2127 or use the state’s online portal.
The Community Choices Waiver helps eligible seniors pay for supportive services, including nonmedical transportation, meal assistance and personal care. While this waiver is intended to help those living in their own homes, some services may be accessible to those who reside in community homes and facilities.
This waiver is available exclusively to seniors aged 65 and older and those with disabilities who qualify for Social Security Income (SSI).
Assisted Living Facility Waiver
Apply online or call (855) 203-2936.
The Assisted Living Facility Waiver covers care costs for adults who need nursing home levels of care but have chosen to receive care in a facility. The facility’s costs must be lower than the nursing home.
Call (855) 294-2127 or use the state's online portal.
This waiver is available to Medicaid beneficiaries aged 64 and younger with developmental disabilities, but adults aged 65+ requiring nursing home levels of care can also qualify. This doesn’t mean the person must reside in a nursing home, but can receive similar levels of care in a residential facility or at home.
How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Wyoming
Wyoming Medicaid covers medical care costs for seniors whose incomes and assets are on or below the thresholds that apply in their individual cases. For example, a single applicant can have an annual income of up to $10,092 and countable assets not exceeding $2,000. Countable assets typically include cash savings and checking accounts, and may include the senior’s home if they’re the sole applicant. If one or both householders in a two-person home apply, the income limits are $15,132 and the asset limits are $3,000.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Wyoming
Annual Income Limit
(Only One Person Applying)
(Both People Applying)
In addition to satisfying the income and asset restrictions, the senior must also satisfy certain other criteria. These include being:
- A U.S. citizen or legal resident
- A Wyoming resident
- Age 65 or older
- In need of nursing home levels of care
How to Apply for Medicaid in Wyoming
Medicaid applicants in Wyoming have five ways to apply, each designed to suit their preferred methods of communication. They are:
- Phone: Call (855) 294-2127 or (855) 329-5204 (TTY/TDD)
- Fax: Download a paper application and fax a completed copy to (855) 329-5205
- Email: Email a scanned copy of a downloaded application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online: Visit the WY Medicaid/CHIP Web Portal
- Mail: Download a paper application and mail it to Wyoming Department of Health, Customer Service Center, 3001 East Pershing Boulevard, Suite 125, Cheyenne, WY 82001
Information You Will Need
In addition to providing evidence of their income and assets, seniors must also show proof of:
- U.S. citizenship or legal residency
- Wyoming residency
- Date of birth
- A medical need for skilled nursing services
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
Applying for Medicaid can be a time-consuming and sometimes stressful experience for applicants. Fortunately, there are several organizations that provide information and/or assistance free of charge.
Benefits.gov is a federal website with plenty of information about Medicaid and other government benefits. Visitors will find an overview of Medicaid, requirements for qualification and information about the application process. There’s also a phone number applicants can use to speak to trained advisors directly.
The Wyoming Department of Health Medicaid portal contains a “Questions & Concerns” link where seniors can submit queries directly and receive personal responses from trained advisors.
The American Council on Aging is a free resource managed by Medicaid experts across the country. It’s a rich source of information for seniors who prefer to do their own research. It also contains useful tools, such as a “Spend Down Calculator” for applicants concerned their assets may be above the threshold.
Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Wyoming?
The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in Wyoming. As was mentioned above, this doesn’t apply to Memory Care received in a Nursing Home. Since it is the most common to receive memory care in a “social setting” (such as an assisted living facility), Medicare won’t be a viable financial assistance option for most seniors who need Memory Care. However, Medicare will still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.
For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for Memory Care in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Wyoming.
Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Wyoming
Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Memory Care affordable.
How to Apply
How It Works
Aid and Attendance
Learn more and apply online at va.gov.
Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used toward paying for Memory Care.
Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov
If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Memory Care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.
Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Memory Care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Memory Care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Wyoming
Seniors who need memory care and other services in Wyoming can reach out to the organizations below. These include programs that provide assistance in accessing residential care, as well as those that offer free help to seniors who are facing memory problems or other health-related issues.
Acting as the state's Area Agency on Aging, the Aging Division helps seniors connect with local resources that can provide housing, meal assistance, counseling, caregiver training, respite care and other necessary supports.
The long-term care ombudsman helps those living in residential care ensure they're treated with dignity and that their rights are preserved, regardless of their cognitive or health condition. Seniors or their caregivers can submit complaints to this department, which will investigate to determine if violations of local, state or national regulations have been made and will help all parties achieve an agreeable resolution.
Wyoming Senior Citizens is a nonprofit organization that helps seniors access local resources. It also facilitates a senior companion program, designed to help seniors socialize and maintain independence, and it operates the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which guides seniors and caregivers through interactions with Medicare.
2-1-1 or (888) 425-7138
2-1-1 connects Wyoming residents with resources that can provide food, healthcare, transportation housing and other necessities of life.
The Alzheimer's Association provides counseling and support for seniors living with Alzheimer's. It also provides caregiver training and helps those who need it to access supportive housing and respite care.
COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Wyoming
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including health.wyo.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/15/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.
Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?
Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?
Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?
Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?
Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?
Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?
Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Outings & Social Activities
Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?
Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?
Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?
Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents
Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?
Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?
Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Wyoming
Memory care facilities in Wyoming are licensed and regulated by the Wyoming Department of Health, Office of Healthcare Licensing and Surveys. Memory care services are available in Level 1 and Level 2 facilities throughout the state, although most memory care programs hold a Level 2 license.
Scope of Care
Memory care programs may admit and retain residents who require 24/7 supervision and support due to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Individuals who need around-the-clock skilled nursing care, continuous assistance with activities of daily living, or who present a danger to themselves or others due to aggressive behavior may not be admitted to a Level 1 or Level 2 facility.
Care Plan Requirements
A registered nurse must complete a pre-admission assessment on potential residents, while Level 2 facilities must complete a Mini-Mental State Exam on residents who are being considered for placement on a secure memory care unit. These assessments are used to create customized care plans which are reviewed at least once per year, or more frequently if the resident experiences significant health or behavioral changes.
Medication Management Requirements
Unlicensed staff may assist with the self-administration of oral medications by providing reminders, opening medication containers and reading prescription labels under the supervision of a registered nurse. Only a registered or licensed practical nurse may administer medications to residents who are unable to self-administer, and all medications must be reviewed by a registered nurse every 60 days or less.
Staff Screening Requirements
Staff who have direct contact with residents are required to pass a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation background check with fingerprinting, as well as a Department of Family Services central registry check.
Staff Training Requirements
Level 2 facilities must have a licensed practical nurse on site at all times, and a registered nurse must be available either on-site or by phone. Staff must complete a minimum of 12 hours of memory care training annually.
Wyoming’s Community Choices waiver program covers care costs for eligible assisted living facility residents, although residents are responsible for their own room and board costs.
Concerns regarding the quality of care in a memory care facility can be reported to the Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at (307) 777-2885. Anyone who witnesses the abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable person should contact local law enforcement authorities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Wyoming?
The statewide average cost of Wyoming memory care services is $4,725, although actual costs may be higher or lower depending on the location, amenities and services offered.
Does Wyoming Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?
Yes. Wyoming’s Community Choices waiver provides memory care services for beneficiaries who can safely reside in a non-institutional setting such as an assisted living or memory care community.
What Security Features Are Present in Memory Care Facilities?
An estimated 60% of those living with Alzheimer’s disease wander, therefore, memory care facilities usually have security features designed to help keep residents safe and secure. Some facilities use a system called WanderGuard which allows caregivers to monitor the location of each resident through a wireless medical alert pendant or watch-style device. Delayed-egress exterior exit doors, enclosed courtyards and fenced outdoor areas are also commonly found at these facilities.
What Are Activities of Daily Living?
Activities of daily living are the tasks everyone needs to perform daily in order to maintain basic health and personal hygiene. Also referred to as ADLs, activities of daily living include using the toilet, bathing and grooming, getting dressed and moving about.
What Types of Services Does Memory Care Provide?
Residential memory care facilities provide room and board in a setting that’s specially-designed to meet the needs of those living with dementia. Services also include 24/7 support and supervision, daily recreational and social programming, and some assistance with activities of daily living.
How Many Memory Care Facilities Are in Wyoming?
There are 10 memory care facilities in Wyoming to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. While that number is low, Wyoming also has the lowest population in the United States. Wyoming residents often move to memory care facilities in the later stages of memory loss when they can’t safely care for themselves at home. In some cases, a family caregiver experiences burnout or can’t continue offering the level of care the loved one needs to stay at home. Read More