Guide to Senior Living in Wyoming
Wyoming had nearly 580,000 residents in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; 16.5% of those residents were at least 65 years old. By 2040, adults 65 and older are expected to make up 22.5% of the state’s population. Known for its excellent health care, no state income tax, and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming is a great place for seniors ready to relax and enjoy their retirement.
Another reason seniors love Wyoming is that the average costs of care are lower here than in many other states. For example, Wyoming residents pay an average of $3,780 per month for assisted living, nearly $300 per month less than the national average.
This guide explains the types of care available to Wyoming seniors, provides details on the average cost of each type of care, and introduces several programs that may help seniors pay for care as they get older.
Paying for Senior Living in Wyoming
Seniors have several options when it comes to getting help with household chores and activities of daily living. Adult day care is the least expensive option but may not be the right choice for seniors who need full-time help. Nursing homes provide daily medical care to residents with serious health concerns, but not every senior needs that level of care. This is what seniors can expect to pay for the types of care available in Wyoming:
Home Health Care
Adult Day Care
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Assisted Living in Wyoming
Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey revealed that Wyoming seniors pay an average of $3,780 per month for assisted living. This is less than the national average of $4,051. The cost of living varies from state to state, which means that seniors in Wyoming may pay more or less for care than seniors in surrounding states. At an average of $4,095 per month, Colorado is more expensive, while Idaho and Utah both have lower average costs of care.
The Cost of In-Home Care in Wyoming
In-home care is a great option for seniors who wish to continue living in a familiar place while receiving assistance with household tasks they are no longer able to complete on their own. With a price tag of $5,339 a month, in-home care in Wyoming is $1,000 more than the national average for similar care as well as more expensive than the same service in the neighboring states of Colorado ($4,957), Montana ($4,576), Idaho ($4,195) and Utah ($4,576).
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Wyoming
For people who require medical services in addition to assistance with daily tasks, nursing homes can prove to be invaluable resources. At a monthly cost of $7,346, nursing home care in Wyoming is an affordable option coming in about $170 below the national average of $7,513. Additionally, Wyoming has cheaper rates for nursing home care than Colorado, $8,197; Montana, $7,459; and Idaho, $7,924. For seniors who find Wyoming’s rate to be slightly out of their price range, the neighboring state of Utah offers the same service for nearly $1,000 less at a price of $6,403.
Financial Assistance for Senior Living in Wyoming
Medicaid is a program that covers the cost of some medical services for individuals with limited income and assets. Although states must meet certain requirements established by the federal government, each state has a great deal of flexibility in determining what services it will cover and how much a recipient must pay, if anything, toward medical services. Montana Medicaid doesn’t cover senior living, but some seniors may qualify for a waiver program designed to keep them out of nursing facilities.
This program is known as the Community Choices Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver. Eligible residents can use the waiver to pay for senior living, adult day care, respite care and other services that help them remain in their homes or communities. To qualify for the waiver, an individual must be a resident of Montana and qualify for traditional Medicaid. Furthermore, the individual must meet guidelines related to income and assets. In 2020, the maximum monthly income is three times the federal benefit rate, or no more than $2,349 per month for an individual or $3,525 for a couple. Applicants must have no more than $2,000 in assets, but Medicaid excludes personal effects, one vehicle and one home with a value of up to $585,000.
Contact: Seniors can apply for Medicaid by telephone at (855) 294-2127, fill out an online application via the Wyoming Eligibility System or submit a paper application to the Wyoming Department of Health Customer Service Center.
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) help seniors remain as independent as possible by providing information and referrals to local resources. In Wyoming, the PACE program is administered by Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. Services are available to Wyoming residents who are at least 55, meet the criteria for admission to a nursing facility and have the ability to live in the community with the right level of support.
The cost of PACE services depends on Medicare and Medicaid eligibility. Seniors who qualify one of these programs have no out-of-pocket costs for any of the services they receive through PACE. Seniors who aren’t eligible for Medicare or Medicaid pay a monthly fee based on their financial resources. Because the Wyoming PACE program is administered by Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, it’s only available to residents of Laramie County.
Contact: Call (307) 773-8112, or email [email protected].
Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Wyoming
Note: All these rules typically apply to non-clinical senior living facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Nursing homes and other senior living facilities with a clinical setting may have additional or slightly different requirements and regulations.
The Wyoming Department of Health Division of Licensing and Surveys regulates senior living facilities in Wyoming. Every facility must obtain a valid license before admitting a resident, which protects seniors from moving to facilities that don’t provide adequate accommodations. Chapter 12 of the Wyoming Administrative Rules outlines the regulations senior living facilities must follow to keep their licenses in good standing. The following regulations are some of the most important for protecting residents of senior living facilities.
Scope of Care
In Wyoming, senior living facilities aren’t permitted to provide skilled nursing care. They’re allowed to offer limited nursing care, which is defined as the level of care that would be given by a certified nursing assistant. Senior living facilities may also offer medication management, help visually impaired residents move around the premises, arrange for transportation to medical appointments and provide help with some activities of daily living, such as bathing or getting dressed. Senior living facilities may operate specialized units for residents with dementia, but any facility with a secure unit must obtain a Level II license and meet additional licensing requirements to ensure resident safety.
The Division of Licensing and Surveys has implemented strict requirements for facilities operating secure dementia units. Anyone who manages a senior living facility with a secure dementia unit must have at least three years of experience in geriatrics or caring for the disabled, be certified as an senior living facility administrator or have equivalent training. Administrators must also complete 16 hours of continuing education each year; at least half of this continuing education must be specific to caring for residents with dementia and other cognitive impairments.
Secure dementia units must also follow stringent staffing requirements to ensure the safety of residents. A licensed nurse must be on duty at all times. This typically means a registered nurse, but licensed practical nurses are permitted to provide care if a registered nurse is available to offer guidance via telephone. Direct care staff must receive additional training in the facility’s approach to dementia care, the skills needed to assist residents who are unable to complete activities of daily living on their own and techniques for handling behaviors such as wandering and delusions. Senior living facilities are also required to provide programming to help support each resident’s highest level of function.
Every senior living facility in Wyoming must have a manager designated by the owner or a governing body. Managers must be at least 21 years old and complete at least 48 semester hours of postsecondary education in facility management, health care, caring for the elderly or other relevant topics.
Wyoming doesn’t have a minimum staffing ratio for senior living facilities, but each facility must have enough staff to provide an appropriate level of care for each resident. Every staff member must complete a fingerprint background check conducted by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and undergo screening by the Department of Family Services Central Registry before starting work at a senior living facility.
Reports of Abuse and Neglect
Any allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation must be documented in the resident’s records, reported to the resident’s family and reported to the Division of Licensing and Surveys within one business day. The facility must investigate the allegation and provide a written report to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the Division of Licensing and Surveys within five working days. The results of the investigation must also be placed in the resident’s file.
Wyoming Senior Living Free Resources
The Wyoming Department of Health Aging Division administers several programs to protect seniors and help them maintain the highest possible levels of independence and health. Seniors who want to stay in their communities can take advantage of information and services provided by the Community Living division. The Aging Division also works closely with the Wyoming Palliative Care Council and the Wyoming Senior Services Board to ensure that programs for seniors receive the funding and support they need to continue operating.
Contact: Call (307) 777-7995, or visit the Aging Division website.
Veterans Affairs Offices in Wyoming
The Wyoming Military Department of Veterans Services coordinates benefits for residents of Wyoming who served in the military. Benefits may also be available to surviving spouses or dependents of veterans. The department has transition advisors to help veterans understand the services available to them. Veterans may also qualify for property-tax exemptions, special license plates or other benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Services.
Veterans are also entitled to a variety of federal benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including medical care and pension payments. Although VA medical care doesn’t cover senior living, veterans receiving a VA pension may be eligible for additional funds to pay for residential care. To qualify, a veteran must need help with some activities of daily living, have limited vision or another disability or spend most of their time in bed due to a long-term illness or disability.
Social Security Offices in Wyoming
In the United States, the Social Security Administration oversees several programs designed to assist seniors and disabled adults who meet certain requirements. For seniors with disabilities, the Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI programs may provide funds that can be used to pay for senior living expenses. Although the monthly payments are too small to cover the entire cost of room and board, the money can be used to defray the costs of residential care.
The Social Security Administration also distributes monthly payments to seniors who paid into the Social Security system while they were working. Seniors with enough work credits to qualify for these payments will receive a monthly amount based on their previous wages and how old they were when they retired. For most Americans, full retirement age is currently 66, but it is increasing to 67. The Social Security Administration doesn’t restrict how seniors can use their monthly payments, so the money can be used to pay for senior living and other services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does assisted living cost in Wyoming?
Wyoming seniors can expect to pay $3,780 per month, on average, for assisted living.
Does Wyoming Medicaid pay for assisted living?
Traditional Medicaid doesn’t cover assisted living expenses for Wyoming residents; however, some seniors may qualify for the Community Choices Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver, which aims to help seniors remain in their communities. Seniors who qualify for the waiver can use the funds to pay for assisted living or other forms of care.
Does Medicare pay for assisted living?
No, Medicare usually doesn’t pay for assisted living. A senior recovering from a serious injury or illness may qualify for a temporary stay in a nursing home, but Medicare won’t cover any ongoing costs.
What types of care are provided by assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities generally provide help with meal planning, medication management and some activities of daily living. These services help residents remain as independent as possible while also maintaining their health and well-being.
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?
Assisted living facilities offer a variety of services to help seniors maintain their independence. In contrast, nursing homes provide ongoing medical care to residents with serious health concerns. The environment of a nursing home is also much different from the environment of an assisted living facility. Nursing homes usually look similar to hospitals, with little in the way of personal touches in each room. Assisted living facilities have home-like environments, and residents may be able to make their mark by bringing their own furniture and decorations with them.
The Top Cities for Senior Living in Wyoming
Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Wyoming cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.
- Basin (2)
- Buffalo (2)
- Casper (8)
- Cheyenne (8)
- Cody (2)
- Douglas (1)
- Dubois (1)
- Evanston (2)
- Gillette (1)
- Green River (2)
- Jackson (1)
- Kemmerer (2)
- Lander (3)
- Laramie (1)
- Newcastle (3)
- Pine Bluffs (1)
- Powell (2)
- Rawlins (3)
- Riverton (1)
- Rock Springs (3)
- Sheridan (6)
- Thermopolis (3)
- Torrington (5)
- Wheatland (2)