A Wyoming legislative committee has advanced a bill that could help patients avoid expensive nursing homes by giving their in-home caregivers some basic support.

The House Labor, Health and Social Services Committee voted Monday night to send House Bill 76 to the full House.

Tim Lockwood with AARP Wyoming says nearly 66,000 family members in the state play a critical role in taking care of their loved ones at home, providing almost $817 million in uncompensated care.

"A majority of Wyoming people, the number one thing when it comes to aging is, they want to be able to age in their home," said Lockwood.  "So we're looking at how can we support those caregivers in our state."

The bill would allow hospital patients to designate a caregiver when they're admitted so they can be contacted upon discharge. Caregivers would also be briefed by hospital staff on any follow-up medical tasks.