Overview of Long-term Care Programs for Wyoming Veterans
While most veterans would like to avoid going to a nursing home, this may not be possible without a comprehensive infrastructure of support services at the local level. This comprehensive infrastructure, sometimes called a “Continuum of Care”, ideally provides a wide range of services to allow each person maximum independence based on his/her level of need. The Continuum of Care recognizes that some individuals can remain independent when in-home assistance is available with meal preparation, transportation, chores, personal care, home health care, medication management, etc. At the next level of need, adult day care may be needed. For those who cannot live independently but don’t need full-time skilled nursing care, a boarding home or an assisted living facility may be appropriate. A nursing home is typically at the most restrictive end of the Continuum of Care. Ideally, a full range of continuum of care services should be available in each major community in Wyoming thereby offering each veteran maximum choice depending on his/her level of need.
Even though the VA provides many important services within the continuum of care, it is not the only organization that veterans can turn to. Many state and local programs also provide long-term care services to veterans. It is important that veterans be aware of these "non-VA services". Click on the chart below to find out what VA and non-VA programs are available at each level of the continuum of care.
Important Note: While the Cheyenne VA Center describes its "catchment area" as the southeast quarter of the state, and the Sheridan VA Center describes its catchment area as the rest of the state, it should be emphasized that a veteran is free to seek services from any VA service site regardless of the location of his/her home town. Also, the VA determines eligibility for many services based on eight priority levels. Veterans in "prior level 1" are generally more eligible than veterans in "priority level 8". For a description of the priority levels, click here.
In-home and Outpatient Services
VA In-home and Out-patient Services:
Both the Cheyenne and Sheridan VA Centers administer a Home-based Primary Care Program. Services offered through this and similar programs are important to veterans who do not need or want to go to a nursing home. The Cheyenne VA provides skilled nursing services through this program to veterans within a 30 mile radius of Cheyenne. The Sheridan program serves a larger geographical area by coordinating with VA outpatient clinics located in Casper, Gillette, Powell, Riverton, and Rock Springs. VA personnel in these clinics work with local providers to offer several important in-home skilled nursing services. For information about the Cheyenne program, contact Jane Prysock at 778-7550 ext. 7740. For information about the Sheridan program, contact John Slaughter at (866) 822-6714.
Both the Cheyenne and Sheridan VA Centers also administer a Homemaker/Home Health Aide Program. Homemaker services include housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and grocery shopping. Home Health Aide Services include bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding, continence, aid in ambulation, medication education and monitoring, blood draws, etc. The Cheyenne program serves most of Southeast Wyoming. The Sheridan program serves most of the rest of the state. For information about the Cheyenne program, contact Jan Anderson at 778-7550 ext. 7652. For information about the Sheridan program, contact John Slaughter at (866) 822-6714.
Both VA Centers also administer a TeleHealth program. With funding from this program a device is attached to the veteran’s phone line, and each day the veteran answers specific questions about his or her health status. The information is sent to a central database and is reviewed by a VA employee. If necessary, a phone call is made to the veteran. Advice may be offered over the phone, or the veteran may be asked to come to a VA facility for examination and treatment. Currently, TeleHealth services are offered for several health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, and polypharmacy. For more information about TeleHealth at the Cheyenne VA Center, contact Catherine Teasley at 778-7550 ext. 7432. For information about TeleHealth at the Sheridan VA Center, contact Janet Ashear at (866) 822-6714.
The VA also offers out-patient services at the VA Centers in Cheyenne and Sheridan and at VA clinics located in Casper, Gillette, Powell, Riverton, and Rock Springs. There is also a part-time VA clinic in Newcastle which is administered by a South Dakota VA center. The locations of these clinics are listed below:
Casper Clinic, 4140 S. Poplar, Casper, WY 82601
Gillette Clinic, 1701 Phillips Circle, Suite A, Gillette, WY 82718
Powell Clinic, 777 Avenue H, Powell, WY 82435
Riverton Clinic, 2300 Rose Lane, Riverton, WY 82501
Rock Springs Clinic, 3000 College Drive, Suite C, Rock Springs, WY 82901
Newcastle Rural Health Clinic, VFW Club, 2990 W. Main Street, Newcastle, WY 82701
Non-VA In-home and Out-patient Services
There are several non-VA in-home services programs important to veterans. The first is the Long-term Care (LTC) waiver administered by the Wyoming Division on Aging within the Wyoming Department of Health. First established in the early 1990s, the LTC waiver provides an array of services to help individuals retain independence. Services offered include personal care, skilled nursing care, non-medical transportation, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), respite care, adult day care, home delivered meals and case management. Enrollment in the program is currently capped at 1,150 individuals with waiting list. All applicants must meet Medicaid eligibility requirements. The Wyoming Medicaid program contracts with numerous providers to offer these services in various locations throughout the state. For information about this program, contact Vereen Bebo in the Aging Division at (800) 442-2766.
A second important program is the state funded Community-based In-home Services (CBIHS) program. The CBIHS program, administered by the Wyoming Aging Division within the Wyoming Department of Health, was created in 1989 and is entirely state funded. The goals of the program are to: foster self-sufficiency; prevent abuse, neglect or exploitation; maintain individuals in the least restrictive safe environment; and prevent inappropriate or premature institutionalization. At a single point in time, the program serves about 2,800 people. Services offered by CBIHS are similar to those offered by the Medicaid Long-term Care (LTC) waiver program. These include adult day care, respite care, personal care, homemaking/chore services, Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), non-medical transportation, and case management. No skilled nursing care is offered. While the CBIHS and LTC waiver programs are similar, there are some important differences. First, the state funded program is not limited to low-income clients. Clients at all income levels are eligible, with payment for services based on a sliding fee scale. Those with higher incomes are asked to pay a higher fee per service. Services are free to those at or below 100% Federal Poverty Level. Second, the state program does not have a slot limit whereas the waiver program is capped at 1,150. Instead of setting a slot limit for the state program, the legislature has provided a specified amount of funding (approximately $3.8 million per biennium), and program administrators are asked to serve as many clients as possible within the funding provided. Currently, there is a waiting list in many parts of the state. Services are delivered by contracting with numerous providers throughout the state. Periodically, the Aging Division issues a competitive Request for Proposals and contracts with one service provider per county. Most of the providers are senior centers. For information about this program, contact Tim Ernst in the Aging Division at (800) 442-2766.
Another important program is the National Family Caregiver Support program. This program was created to support individuals who provide care for someone at home. Respite care is the major focus of this program. Respite services are available to periodically relieve the caregiver so that the caregiver does not get burned out. Other services offered include caregiver training and "supplemental services" needed to aid the caregiver in keeping the care receiver in the home. For information about this program, contact Kim Latta in the Aging Division at (800) 442-2766.
Local home health agencies are another important source of in-home care for veterans. Several of the programs mentioned above, including Medicaid and Medicare, provide services through these local agencies. Most agencies also accept private insurance payments. A list of licensed home health agencies in Wyoming is provided below.
The Wyoming Department of Health also administers the Nursing Facility Transition Services program (commonly called “Project Out”). The Department, through the Division on Aging, offers assistance to nursing home patients to return to their homes or other community-based settings. The program is especially important to individuals who are living in a nursing home temporarily due to an accident or stroke. Services offered include case management, help finding housing, help in finding in-home services, home modification (wheel chair access) and rent deposit payments. For information about Project Out, contact Vereen Bebo in the Aging Division at (800) 442-2766.
The statewide Senior Companion Program is administered by Wyoming Senior Citizens, Inc. whose main office is in Riverton. The program is largely federally funded and serves adults 21 years of age or older. Services include escorts to appointments, assistance with shopping and errands, respite care, client advocacy, home management and more. There is no charge for services, and there are no income eligibility requirements. Senior companions are volunteers who receive a small stipend. For information about this program, call (800)856-4398.
Government funded out-patient services are offered at a reduced cost at a number of locations. These include public health offices and several community health centers (CHCs). The largest CHC in the state is the Community Health Center of Central Wyoming located in Casper. It is funded largely by the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC). A list of BPHC funded clinics is provided below:
Community Health Center of Central Wyoming
1522 East A. Street
Casper, WY 82601-2217
Caring Hands of Wyoming
P.O. Box 4632
Casper, WY 82604
Phone: (307) 337-2772
Fax: (307) 337-2773
Health Care for the Homeless
1514 E. 12th Street, Suite 201
Casper, WY 82601-7124
Dubois Medial Clinic
5647 US HWY 26
Dubois WY 82513-0577
Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center
2508 E. Fox Farm Road, #1A
Cheyenne, WY 82007-2559
Phone: (307) 635-3618
Cheyenne Crossroads Clinic
1504 Stinson Ave.
Cheyenne, WY 82001-3319
Adult Day Care Programs
VA Adult Day Care Services:
The VA does not offer adult day care services in Wyoming.
Non-VA Adult Day Care Services:
The State defines adult day care as: A community-based group program designed to meet the needs of adults with physical or mental disabilities through an individual activity plan. It is a structured, comprehensive program that provides a variety of health, social, and related support systems in a protective setting during any part of the day, but less than 24 hour care. Adult day care is important for at least two reasons. First, it can enable a caregiver to maintain his/her job while continuing to be a caregiver. Second, it can provide an important break from the task of caring for someone with demanding needs. There are only nine licensed adult day care providers in Wyoming. They are located in Sheridan , Gillette, Casper , Douglas, Wheatland, Evanston (2), Lyman and Thayne. This service is not available in the remainder of the state. Even though adult day care is an important service within the continuum of care, this service receives relatively little government funding. Currently, services are available through the Long-term Care Waiver, the Community-based In-home Services (CBIHS) program and the Caregiver Support Program. For information about adult day care, contact Vereen Bebo in the Aging Division at (800) 442-2766.
Boarding Home Programs
VA Boarding Home Services:
The Cheyenne VA Center provides funding for a Homeless program that offers boarding home services to veterans in Southeast Wyoming. Fifteen beds are available in Cheyenne. Veterans can stay in these facilities for up to two years while receiving counseling, job training, medical treatment, etc. For information about this program, contact Larry Melka at the Cheyenne VA Center at 778-7353.
The Sheridan VA Medical Center has recently established a 40 bed facility for homeless veterans. This program is designed to assist homeless veterans in re-entering their communities. The length of stay is typically between 90 and 120 days. For more information about this program, contact Hollis Hackman at (866) 822-6714. (Note: This program could also be considered an assisted living program and is listed again under the assisted living section.)
Non-VA Boarding Home Services:
There are 16 licensed boarding homes in Wyoming with a total of 299 beds. There are no government programs that provide financial assistance for boarding home services. For the locations of licensed boarding homes in your area, please click on your county on the map.
Assisted Living Programs
VA Assisted Living Services (Domiciliary Care):
The Sheridan VA Medical Center recently opened a 40 bed Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program for homeless veterans. This clinical program assists homeless veterans in re-entering their communities. For more information about this program, contact Hollis Hackman at (866) 822-6714.
The Sheridan VA center also administers a residential mental health program. The program has twenty beds available for veterans while they receive treatment in one of three mental health programs. The Sheridan VA supplements costs for veterans staying in the community homeless shelter while they are transitioning into this residential program. For more information about this program, contact Hollis Hackman at (866) 822-6714.
Non-VA Assisted Living Services (Domiciliary Care):
The Veterans Home of Wyoming, located in Buffalo, is the only state funded veterans facility. Eligibility requirements for this 116 bed assisted living facility are: (1) applicants for admission to the Veterans' Home of Wyoming must be a resident, with a valid Wyoming address at the time of application. (2) an applicant who has resided in the state less than one year must declare intent to permanently or indefinitely reside in Wyoming, (3) applicants cannot be in transit state or indicate temporary or seasonal residency. There is no minimum age for veterans providing they need domiciliary care and are unable to make a living. Veterans have first priority. Veterans' spouses, second priority. Non-veterans are admitted under special provisions. For information about this program, contact Jack Tarter at 684-5511.
The State of Wyoming has also adopted an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) waiver . The Division on Aging within the Wyoming Department of Health administers the ALF program. The waiver allows the State to use Medicaid funds to pay for "some" assisted living costs in recognition of the fact these services are cheaper than nursing home services. Because it is a Medicaid program, there are strict financial eligibility requirements. The Legislature has capped the waiver at 146 beds. For information about this program, contact Vereen Bebo at (800) 442-2766.
There are 19 licensed assisted living facilities in Wyoming. About one-half accept waiver patients. For the locations of licensed facilities in your area, please click on your county on the map.
Nursing Home Programs
VA Nursing Home Services:
Long-term care nursing home services are available at the Cheyenne VA Center and the Sheridan VA Center. Each administers a 50 bed nursing home unit which is available to veterans with a service connected disability (generally must have a Priority Level 1 rating). The Cheyenne Center typically has vacancies, while the Sheridan Center often has a short waiting list. For information about the program in Cheyenne, contact Gayle Carter at 778-7550 ext. 7148. For information about the program in Sheridan, contact John Slaughter at (866) 822-6714.
Both VA Centers also administer a small Contract Nursing Home Program. This limited program allows each Center to contract with private nursing homes to provide services to veterans if for some reason the veteran cannot be served directly by the Center. For information about this program in Cheyenne, contact Catherine Teasley at 778-7550 ext. 7432. For information about this program in Sheridan, contact John Slaughter at (866) 822-6714.
Non-VA Nursing Home Services:
The largest non-VA long-term care program in Wyoming is the Medicaid Nursing Home Program. Approximately two-thirds of all nursing home residents in Wyoming have their care paid for by Medicaid. While this is a large program serving hundreds of Wyoming residents, it should be noted that there are strict financial eligibility requirements. The program is administered by the Wyoming Department of Health, but financial eligibility is determined at the local Department of Family Services Office. For more information about this program, please contact your local Department of Family Services office.
The Wyoming Department of Health also administers a State License Shelter Care Program which uses state funds to pay for nursing home care. This is a very small program serving about two dozen people per year. The program helps two groups of people: 1) those waiting to get approval for Medicaid; and 2) those with incomes slightly above what Medicaid allows. For the first group, the State typically pays the cost of nursing home services for only a short period of time (30 days or so) while a Medicaid application is being processed. For the second group, the State requires the patient to set up an irrevocable trust, payable to the State. After the trust is established the patient can qualify for Medicaid, and the patient’s income is paid to the State. For information about this program, please contact Vereen Bebo in Division on Aging at (800) 442-2766.
There are 39 licensed nursing homes in Wyoming. Most of these homes accept Medicaid patients. For the locations of nursing homes in your area, please click on your county on the map.
VA Hospice Services:
Both the Cheyenne and Sheridan VA Centers offer Hospice Care for terminally ill veterans. For information about the Cheyenne program, contact Gayle Carter at 778-7550 ext. 7148. For information about the Sheridan program, contact John Slaughter at (866) 822-6714.
Non-VA Hospice Services:
There are eighteen licensed non-VA Hospice providers in Wyoming. Most Hospice organizations provide a wide range of services including in-home services such as respite and personal care. While hospice is an important part of the Continuum of Care for terminally ill patients, these services are not available to people who are not terminally ill. For the locations of hospice services in your area, please click on your county on the map.