Wyoming Assisted Living

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Wyoming Assisted Living: How to pay for, Licensing and Questions to ask…

Wyoming is famous for having some of the most stunning scenery in all of the United States. Many seniors and retirees want the enjoyment of those spectacular views while maintaining a low cost of living. Wyoming offers the best of both worlds. Aging adults are flocking to Wyoming like never before to take advantage of the the excellent healthcare, no income tax, no estate tax and all the national parks. As seniors and retirees continue aging many may require care at some point. Aging adults may find assisted living to be the ideal situation. Assisted living is ideal for aging adults who may require some assistance with activities of daily living. This type of community or facility describes a specific level of care, which allows your loved one the benefit of security and peace of mind because they may experience increased socialization, classes for health and fitness and quality nutrition plans. Wyoming ranked very high in senior quality of living, and the state’s lower than average population allows for seniors to receive excellent care, receiving the care everyone wants and deserves.

Aside from assisted living, there are a variety of senior living and housing and care options which suit the requirements and desires of seniors.

Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living: 

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)- typically include independent living, assisted living, residential care and skilled nursing services all on one campus.  
     
  • Independent Living Communities – provide residents a setting without the burden of home ownership. Residents commonly live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from a studio to large two-bedroom units.  
     
  • Care Home or Adult Family Care Home- are private residences in a home-like setting that provide care services to a smaller more limited number of residents (typically 5-12 residents, depending on each state’s regulations). 
     
  • Assisted Living- provides housing and supportive care in a community setting, but the residents do not require 24-hour nursing care. 
     
  • Memory Care- a care setting for residents with memory loss or confusion. The community typically has a “secured” entry for residents that may wander. This care can be provided in different care settings depending on the state licensing requirements. 
     
  • Skilled Nursing is state licensed to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for people who require rehabilitative care 24 hours a day.

What does Assisted Living offer in Wyoming?

Assisted living communities are NOT nursing homes, though it is common to hear this term when people refer to any/all senior housing. Service plans in assisted living may be prepared in a similar fashion to a nursing home, which outlines the provided care for each aging adult, all specific to their requirements and preferences.

All assisted living facilities in Wyoming must provide an orderly, safe and clean environment for all residents. All aging adults may only become a resident if the facility can support and provide for all the resident’s health needs.

In Wyoming, a level 1 assisted living facilities may offer:

  • Help with dressing, walking, colostomy bags, some wound care, bathing
  • Three regularly scheduled meals for all residents
  • Regularly scheduled housekeeping and laundry services
  • Daily organized activities to support spiritual and recreational and social engagement for all residents

In Wyoming, a level 2 assisted living facility may offer:

  • Assistance with bathing, grooming, walking, toileting, dressing
  • Monitoring of diet, assistance with eating
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Activities for residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
  • Security measures in place to keep residents safe.
  • Colostomy, catheter assistance, as well as incontinence
  • Wound dressing

Laws and regulations for assisted living in Wyoming

Housing requirements for assisted living in Wyoming

  • Rooms in any facility cannot house more than two residents.
  • Wyoming is strict on the rule that only half of the rooms in an assisted living facility may be single occupancy.
  • All the rest of the rooms must be two person occupancy.
  • Each bed must be separated by a screen or sheet to distinguish personal space and beds.
  • There must be a window in all rooms.
  • For every two residents there must be a ventilated bathroom (which allows for unlocking from the outside) – a bathtub or shower for every ten residents.

Staffing

Administrator (21 years or older) or qualified manager must oversee all operations. A certified registered nurse must be present during every shift in every facility. One staff member must be awake and available at all times – and there must always be adequate staff to resident ratio so as to meet the needs of all residents.

Before any interaction with residents, all staff must undergo a background check and fingerprinting by the state Department of Criminal Investigation.

Grievances

The Department of Healthcare and Licensing and Surveys handles complaints made against any health facility. To contact, you can reach out online.

And grievances may also be made with Long-term Care Ombudsman. They will investigate all claims of abuse in any assisted living facility or community.

Expected Monthly Cost of Assisted Living in Wyoming

The cost of assisted living in Wyoming is $4,200, which is below the national average of $4,500, and hovers around the middle of cost in comparison with neighboring states.

  • National average: $4,500
  • Wyoming: $4,200
  • Colorado: $4,800
  • Montana: $4,475
  • Nebraska: $4,100

Within the state of Wyoming itself, costs in the larger cities exceed the national average.

  • Wyoming average cost per month: $4,200
  • Cheyenne: $5,550
  • Fort Collins: $,4050
  • Rapid City: $4,000
  • Billings: $4,600

What financial aid is available for assisted living in Wyoming?

Assisted Living Medicaid Waivers

Some people may be eligible for the assistance waiver. There is no waitlist. The waiver allows the optimal options for care in assisted living facility without being moved into a nursing home. This waiver does not cover the cost of room and board in assisted living facilities. The daily care services offered in assisted living may be paid for under this program.

Other options for paying for Assisted Living

You want to consider your payment options for assisted living, memory care, and care homes. For these services, Medicare is NOT an option for payment.

The most common payment for these services would be out of pocket Private Pay and assessing a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.

Medicaid can also be an option, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

Long-Term Care insurance is also a possible option in cases of chronic conditions, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

For our Veterans and spouses of veterans, be sure to assess Veteran Aid and your eligibility for these benefits.

Medicare – NO:

  • Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
  • People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
  • Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.

Private pay – YES:

  • Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
  • Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
  • Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.

Medicaid – MAYBE:

  • Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
  • Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
  • Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
  • National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
  • The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
  • If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.

Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:

Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.

  • Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
  • Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.

Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:

This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.

  • There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
  • A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
  • If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.

Questions to Ask

Finding an assisted living community can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:

  • Make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. You can tell a lot about the operation by noting what is clean and maintained. Are doorknobs loose or damaged? Do you see any frayed carpet or trip hazards?
  • Visit during lunch hour to observe what the residents are eating. Ask questions about the nutrition program. Is there diversity in meals, healthy fruits and vegetables served at all meals, drink options?
  • Speak to residents and/or family members to learn their perspective.
  • Ask about staff and resident engagement. Get a feel for how staff interact with residents.
  • Ask about the life enrichment programs. Activities are crucial when it comes to quality of life and play a key role in care for older adults.
  • And finally (along with a plethora of more things to consider), get to know the leadership in the building. If you feel good around the Executive Director, Head Nurse, Lead Activities Director and even the Chef or Janitor, it is a good sign you can trust them with the care of your loved one.

Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings

Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available. 

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Care Availability

Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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