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News from Wyoming Department of Health

Name Change for Aging Division Program

7/3/2013

Wyoming Home Services (WyHS) is the new name of the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) program formerly called Community Based In-Home Services.

WyHS supports adults at risk of early placement into a nursing home, assisted living center or other healthcare facility due to physical health concerns or the challenges of aging faced by some older adults. The program is paid for with state funds and is administered by the Community Living Section of the Aging Division.

“We decided to change the name to Wyoming Home Services because we found people were too often confusing this program with the Home and Community Based Waiver, which is offered by Wyoming Medicaid with different funding and eligibility standards,” said Rebecca McDaniel, WyHS manager with WDH.

Specific services offered by WyHS include care coordination, personal care, chore services, homemaker services, respite care, personal emergency response systems, adult day care and hospice. These services are provided in each Wyoming county by local contractors.

“These services can really help folks stay in their homes and within their own communities for as long as possible,” McDaniel said.

Tim Ernst, Aging Division deputy administrator for the Community Living Section, said Wyoming Home Services plays a key role. “With this approach, we can offer needed support to people for an average annual cost of about $1,900 per individual. Contrast that investment with the costs of nursing home care, which can average as high as $65,000 a year for someone paying with private funds,” he said.

“Wyoming Medicaid also pays for many state residents’ nursing home care,” Ernst said. “While we always want the best and most appropriate care for people, we’ve found if they can stay in their homes a little longer it’s a better situation for them personally and financially.”

To be eligible, a client must be 18 years of age or older, and, through an ongoing evaluation, to be at risk of premature institutionalization. WyHS has no income requirement and has a sliding scale fee. To find out more about WyHS, please contact McDaniel at 307-777-8735.


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