Memory Care in Wyoming | MemoryCare.com

Memory Care in Wyoming

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing concern in Wyoming. More than 235 Alzheimer’s-related deaths were reported in 2019, up from 151 in 2015. This chronic condition already ranks as the state’s fifth leading cause of death, and the number of cases is projected to increase by 30% between 2020 and 2025 according to the Alzheimer’s Association. It's likely that within the next few years, more than 13,000 seniors in Wyoming will be living with this form of memory loss. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects the number of Alzheimer’s and dementia cases to double.

Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring 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 will cover the cost of memory care in Wyoming, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state and a directory of memory care facilities in Wyoming.

The Cost of Memory Care in Wyoming

Because of the specialized staff training and resources required to provide high-quality memory care, memory care typically costs more than other types of residential care. On average, memory care will cost 20-30% more than assisted living.

Due to data limitations, we’ve used the assisted living rates from Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey plus 25% to estimate the cost of memory care. According to this formula, seniors in Wyoming can expect to pay $5,211 per month for memory care, which is below the national average of $5,625.

Wyoming’s memory care prices are reasonable for the region. Seniors in Montana pay about $350 more per month at $5,563. Prices in Colorado are considerably higher at $5,938. Utah and South Dakota both offer a more competitive value at $4,375 and $4,188, respectively. On the other hand, memory care prices in Wyoming’s two metropolitan statistical areas are higher than the state median. Prices in Casper average around $6,055 per month. In the Cheyenne capital area, the average rises to $6,923, which is almost $1,300 higher than the U.S. median.

Wyoming Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Wyoming Medicaid is an important resource for anyone who is unable to afford their medical bills. The program covers children, pregnant women and low-income adults. There are also long-term care benefits designed for seniors who require an institutional level of care due to dementia or other ongoing health concerns. The state also offers Medicaid waivers that pay for less restrictive services, including assisted living, memory care and in-home assistance.

  • Who Is Eligible: Institutional Medicaid and Medicaid home and community-based services waivers are available to applicants who are aged 65 or older, blind or disabled. Individuals must be assessed as requiring a nursing home level of care due to dementia, a chronic medical condition or functional limitations.
  • How To Apply: Seniors should contact the Wyoming Department of Health to apply for Medicaid. Applications can be submitted online or over the phone by calling the Customer Service Center at (855) 294-2127. The state also provides paper application forms if you prefer.

Community Choices Waiver 

Wyoming's Community Choices Waiver (CCW) covers an extensive variety of long-term services and supports to help dementia patients safely live in their preferred setting. The program reimburses licensed assisted living facilities at a fixed daily rate for the cost of personal care services they provide. The state covers standard assisted living services and supports provided in memory care units. This includes 24-hour supervision, personal assistance, medication reminders, social activities and security. Additional services, such as intermittent nursing or hospice, may be available to residents to supplement their care as determined by their case manager. The CCW pays for personal care services based on medical need, but it doesn’t help with the cost of room and board, maintenance or comfort items. This waiver also covers adult day health care programs for dementia and various community-based alternatives.

  • Who Is Eligible: The  Community Choices Waiver is available to seniors and disabled adults who require a nursing home level of care and qualify for Medicaid long-term care based on financial criteria.
  • How To Apply: Applying for waiver services is a multistep process. To apply for yourself or a loved one, contact your area Benefits and Eligibility Specialist. You’ll need to complete the CCW Application. A case manager and public health nurse will help you complete the screening process. Contact the Home and Community Based Services Section at (800) 510-0280 for more details.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Wyoming 

If you require long-term care, you can qualify for Medicaid with expanded income limits. Seniors and adults who are blind or disabled can earn approximately 300% of the federal benefit rate and still qualify. For 2022, this means that applicants can have up to $2,523 in monthly income, including retirement benefits. Assets are limited to $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples who both require nursing home care. If only one spouse is applying, the non applicant can keep up to $137,400 in assets plus a home and vehicle as well as a monthly needs allowance from the applicant's income.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Wyoming

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276$2,000 for applicant $137,400 for non applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$60,552$3,000

Seniors must meet other requirements in addition to the above income and asset limits to qualify for Medicaid long-term care and waivers. Specially, they must:

  • Be aged 65 or older or disabled if younger
  • Satisfy citizenship and residency requirements
  • Require long-term care

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Wyoming

If you need long-term care and are unable to pay for these services, Medicaid may be able to help. The state also allows seniors to appoint an authorized representative who can discuss their application with the state. For more information about Medicaid or to check the status of an application, contact the following agencies for assistance.

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Wyoming Medicaid Customer Service Center855-294-2127For questions about Medicaid or to apply for benefits over the phone, contact the statewide Customer Service Center. Agents can also help with billing questions, eligibility concerns and information about covered services.
Long Term Care (LTC) Eligibility855-203-2936This bureau within the Division of Healthcare Financing is responsible for handling long-term care applications and renewals and conducting financial eligibility determinations. The unit's office is located in Cheyenne.
HCBS Benefits and Eligibility Specialists307-777-5074For help with memory care waivers and assisted living services, seniors should contact the Benefits and Eligibility Specialist in their area. The Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Section also provides information about these programs.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Memory Care in Wyoming?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of Memory Care. Most Memory Care Facilities are considered to be "social settings," so Medicare does not cover the cost incurred in these facilities. The only exception to that is if you are receiving memory care services in a Nursing Home. While this situation is much less common, Medicare would sometimes cover the cost, depending on a number of circumstances.

That being said, Medicare does still cover qualified doctor visits, medications, etc., as it would if you were still at home, but it will not cover the cost of care received at the Memory Care Facility.

More Ways to Pay for Memory Care in Wyoming

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance may be used to pay for memory care services. It's best to sign up for a policy early, as coverage will likely be denied if one already has long-term care needs. More information about the intricacies of long-term care insurance can be found at longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow some homeowners to take out a loan as an advance from the eventual sale of their primary residence. This can be a good way to fund memory care in the short-term, but the loans will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgages for seniors is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that veterans and their spouses may use to cover health care needs such as memory care. More information about these programs can be found on the VA website.
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Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Wyoming

Memory Care Regulation

The Department of Health, Office of Healthcare Licensing and Surveys regulates and licenses assisted living facilities, including facilities with secured units and those dedicated to the care of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. State surveyors conduct an unannounced health survey as part of the licensing process, and perform periodic surveys for license renewal and as needed to investigate complaints. The department may also place a monitor at the facility, at the owner’s expense, to ensure residents’ health and safety aren’t at risk. To operate a secure dementia unit, assisted living facilities must be licensed as a Level 2 facility and meet additional requirements.

Facility Scope of Care

Level 1 assisted living facilities must provide core services, including:

  • Partial assistance with personal care
  • Limited assistance with dressing
  • Cueing
  • Infrequent assistance with mobility
  • Limited assistance with incontinence and catheters
  • Minor non-sterile dressing changes
  • State 1 skin care
  • Assistance with getting medical, optometry and dental care
  • Assistance with transportation
  • 24-hour monitoring

Level 2 facilities must meet health care occupancy requirements and provide services in addition to Level 1 core services, including:

  • Increased assisted with activities of daily living
  • Increased assistance in maintaining continence and skin integrity
  • Assistance in maintaining nutrition and hydration
  • An activity program developed by a professional trained in dementia-specific activities

Admission Requirements

Assisted living facilities in Wyoming can admit a wide range of residents as long as they’re able to fulfill all the needs of each resident, but certain restrictions apply to individuals admitted into a secure dementia unit. New residents must have a medical history and physical performed in the 90 days prior to admittance. The following table provides an overview of the Alzheimer’s sufferers who may and may not be admitted to a Level 2 assisted living facility.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Other related neurological disorders

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Individuals who score more than 20 or less than 10 on the Mini-Mental State Exam or require:

  • Ongoing nursing care
  • More than limited assistance to evacuate
  • Total assistance with activities of daily living
  • Continuous assistance with mobility and transfers
  • Constant supervision to prevent wandering that threatens health and safety

Care Plan Requirements

A registered nurse must complete a preadmission assessment to determine each new resident’s needs, and Level 2 facilities also must complete a Mini-Mental State Exam for individuals being considered for a secure unit. Additional assessments and MMSEs must be completed at least annually, and anytime there’s a significant change in a resident’s physical or mental condition. Assessments are used to develop, review and revise individualized care plan requirements. Plans must include what, when and how care will be provided, who will provide care and the expected outcome. Facilities must include residents in the development of their own care plans. A relative or another interested party may also participate, especially if the resident has limited participation abilities.

Medication Management Requirements

A registered nurse must always be responsible for the supervision and management of all residents’ medication administration, including a review of medications every two months and when medications are prescribed or changed. The nurse must also document whether a resident is capable of self-administering medications. Only registered nurses or licensed practical nurses can administer medications to residents who can’t self-administer. However, non-licensed staff may assist with oral medication, but only by helping to remove container caps or medication from a container for residents with functional disabilities, or by providing reminders and watching while residents take their medications.

Facility Requirements

Apartment-style units aren’t required in Wyoming. Half of the beds in a facility must be in private rooms, and private residency rooms must be at least 120 square feet in size. A maximum of two residents may share one unit by choice, and shared units must provide at least 80 square feet of space per resident. Two residents are permitted to share a room with one bed by mutual consent, if the bed is a double or larger. A facility must provide at least one sink and flush toilet for every two residents, and at least one tub or shower for every 10 residents.

Staffing Requirements

In Level 2 facilities, a licensed nurse must always be on duty to perform ongoing resident evaluations and administer medications, as needed. If this nurse is an LPN, an RN must be available on the premises or by phone. Also, the facility must always have at least one on-duty staff member with specialized training in providing care and supervision of residents with severe cognitive impairment. All assisted living facility staff must pass a Department of Family Services central registry screening and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation fingerprint background check before having direct contact with residents. Level 2 facility staff must complete at least 12 hours of dementia care-related continuing education on a yearly basis.

Medicaid Policy

Medicaid doesn’t pay for room and board in assisted living facilities; However, Wyoming’s Assisted Living Facility Waiver, which is now part of the Community Choices Waiver program, may help qualified residents cover certain costs. This waiver may provide financial assistance for services received while in a licensed assisted living facility, including daily care services, memory care services, case management and others benefiting residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Reporting Abuse

Wyoming is a mandatory reporting state, so anyone suspecting abuse of a memory care, assisted living or nursing facility resident must legally report it. This includes any type of abuse, including injuries of unknown source, plus mistreatment, neglect or misappropriation of resident property. Suspicions of abuse may be reported to one of these three agencies:

  • The Wyoming Long Term Care Ombudsman, located on the 4th floor of the Wyoming Department of Health at 2300 Capitol Avenue in Cheyenne, which can be reached by calling 307-777-2885.

The Office of Healthcare Licensing and Surveys, located in Suite 510 of the Wyoming Department of Health offices at 2300 Capitol Avenue in Cheyenne, which can be reached by calling 307-777-7123 and asking to speak with a health surveyor.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Wyoming

Numerous dementia care resources are available to support seniors and their families through all stages of the disease. Learn more about some of the free services that may be available in your area.

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Alzheimer’s Association, Wyoming Chapter800-272-3900This statewide chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is one of the most comprehensive memory loss resources for seniors and their families. It provides education, support groups, professional training and caregiver resources. Help is available 24 hours a day through the association’s hotline. It also engages in political advocacy and provides funding for Alzheimer’s research.
Wyoming Dementia Care307-232-3385Based in Casper, Wyoming Dementia Care is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping seniors and families dealing with all stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It offers education, outreach, support groups, free respite care, dementia-focused art classes and one-on-one care consultations.
Dementia Friendly Wyoming307-461-5955Dementia Friendly Wyoming educates the public about dementia and actively works to promote supportive services across the state. It informs residents about memory loss and various forms of dementia and offers a wide range of resources to support seniors, caregivers, families and health care professionals. Its support center offers free consultations, and conducts virtual and in-person workshops.
Wyoming Center on Aging, Dementia Support Services307-766-2829Part of the Wyoming Center on Aging at the University of Wyoming, this program provides a variety of informational resources to seniors and their families. Thanks to funding from the Administration for Community Living, free dementia care planning services are available to residents of Adams County. Caregivers and family members can also take advantage of self-paced training programs and emotional support services.
Wyoming Senior Citizens Inc.800-856-4398Wyoming Senior Citizens has been serving older adults statewide for nearly 50 years. It operates seven initiatives, including programs that provide companionship, caregiver support, long-term care ombudsmanship and volunteer opportunities. Medicare insurance counseling and fraud prevention services are available through the State Health Insurance Information Program and Senior Medicare Patrol. It also administers Medicaid long-term benefits in certain areas.
Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care307-275-1063Offered by the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care program provides free resources and care planning services to seniors and their families. Specialists provide 90-minute in-person care consultations that are covered by Medicare. Followup services ensure that clients’ existing and emerging needs are met. These services are available to all dementia patients who live outside a nursing home.

Wyoming COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/15/2022. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your Memory Care Facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

questionanswer
Am I allowed to visit my loved one in person?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Is my loved one required to quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the facility at-will?Yes
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?No (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
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