Help Available from WDH for Long-Term Care Issues
October 22, 2018
People with questions or concerns about long-term care services in Wyoming can find an advocate through the Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program offered through the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
With a focus on resident rights, the program works on behalf of people who live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and boarding homes, as well as people who receive community-based long-term care services.
“Anyone can call us for help. We primarily hear from facility residents, others needing long-term care services, and their family members or friends. We also hear sometimes from concerned citizens,” said Lindsay Hruby, state long-term care ombudsman with WDH.
The most common complaint subject is involuntary facility discharges. “We also hear questions about admissions, health services, conflicts with staff, food, recipient funds, billing and transfers,” Hruby said.
A regional ombudsman can provide information and guidance about a person’s situation to help people advocate on their own behalf. If needed, an ombudsman can also advocate for an individual who needs help, or mediate and work toward resolving problems.
Hruby said approximately 2,965 individuals live in 38 Wyoming nursing homes, with 1,833 individuals living in 41 assisted living or board and care facilities across the state.
There is no charge for program services.
WDH employs a state long-term care ombudsman and contracts with a private, nonprofit organization to provide three full-time regional ombudsmen. To learn more about the Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, visit https://health.wyo.gov/admin/long-term-care-ombudsman-program/.