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Wyoming Legislature Measures State’s Aging Toolkit

Christopher Furlong (Getty)

From the Wyoming News Service

A one-stop shop has been tested in some areas of Wyoming since 2005 – a place where people can take their questions about services and care options, as they age or face a disability.  The legislature will look at whether to keep that network of Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) in place during the upcoming session.  Aging Division Administrator, Ginny Mahoney,  says they’d like to expand it statewide, as it has been well-received in communities where it’s been offered.

“People realize that it definitely fills a lot of needs that we have in terms of service-providing, and information and referrals – all different kinds of areas for people with aging and disability needs.”

State Senator, Marty Martin, is sponsoring a bill to keep the network running and extend its reach to every corner of the state, including a website and toll-free line.  He says his constituents like the system, and 43 other states have similar networks because they are cost-effective.

“And it’s important that we are able to provide those services, because it allows folks the ability to make decisions on their long-term care options.”

Debbie Walter is the lead grants manager for the A-D-R-C.  She says it keeps people in their homes, which is a top request she hears when families face aging and disability issues.

“This will reduce confusion for them, and stress, as well as saving money because they’re not going to be going from place, to place, to place.”

The network hooks people up with providers – for housekeeping, personal care, or health care – and then coordinates services.  Mahoney calls it unbiased because they don’t work on behalf of companies that provide services.  The project was run as a pilot for a few years and then continued under a grant, but that money runs out in 2012.

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