Wyoming State Alzheimer’s Plan Overview
The Alzheimer’s Association Wyoming Chapter, working with the Wyoming Division of Aging and a group of key stakeholders at the direction of Governor Matt Mead, developed the first Wyoming State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia. Established in 2015, the Work Group hosted town halls across the state to receive public input as part of their comprehensive, statewide needs assessment. Current members of this group include representatives from hospital systems, physician groups, long-term care providers, the University of Wyoming Center on Aging, the Division of Aging within the Department of Health and the governor's office. The final plan was released in October 2018 and serves as an essential guide for policymakers in Wyoming.
Wyoming 2023 Policy Priorities
Protect Missing Adults with Dementia
Alzheimer’s and other dementia can impair a person’s judgment and leave them vulnerable to confusion and memory loss. Six in 10 people with dementia will wander, which can lead to dangerous situations and consequences. With the number of Wyoming residents living with dementia expected to increase by 30% by 2025, Wyoming must ensure communities are prepared to respond to emergencies involving people with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is urging state legislators to expand the current emergency response system to include an alert for at-risk missing adults, particularly those living with dementia, and expand the system’s ability to alert local law enforcement and community members.
Expand the Wyoming 211 System
Wyoming is currently the only state without a “No Wrong Door” network of resources for older adults and people with disabilities, which has caused the state to rely heavily on its 211 system to help guide people to important community resources. The Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for the state legislature to appropriate $2 million to expand the current 211 system. Included in this expansion will be creation of a statewide Adult Disability Resource Center with navigation staff. These staff will be required to receive dementia-specific training to ensure people living with dementia and their caregivers are connected to vital supports and services in Wyoming.
Update the State Plan on Alzheimer’s
State Alzheimer’s Plans provide a pathway for state governments to create the infrastructure necessary to address the growing Alzheimer’s crisis. The most recent Wyoming State Plan on Alzheimer’s was released in 2018, and the state has not been held accountable for implementing an updated State Plan to meet the current needs of Wyomingites living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association, in partnership with the Wyoming Health Department, the Governor’s Office, and the Wyoming Center on Aging, is advocating for the creation of a new State Alzheimer’s Plan outlining strategies to best serve people living with dementia, and establish requirements to continuously provide updates to the State Plan.
Empower Guardians with Dementia Training
Alzheimer’s and other dementia can impair a person’s judgment and ability to take care of their personal and financial needs — sometimes requiring the appointment of a guardian. Once appointed, a guardian may make decisions for the individual with dementia that relate to their health, well-being, and economic interest. With such critical responsibilities, guardians should be properly trained on how to interact with a person with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is advocating for dementia training requirements to be required for guardians administered through the state’s only professional guardianship non-profit organization.
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State Affairs Contact: Carissa Gemaehlich
Email: [email protected]
people living with Alzheimer’s in Wyoming
Wyomingites are providing unpaid care
Medicaid cost of caring for people living with Alzheimer’s (2020)
deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2019
in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia
increase of geriatricians in Wyoming needed to meet the demand in 2050
Resources to Drive Change in Wyoming
The following resources developed by AIM and the Alzheimer’s Association will help you learn more about the issues impacting people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, how Wyoming policymakers are addressing these gaps, and how you can help drive change.