Support Dementia Caregivers and Restore Funding to Home Based Care Services
Many of the 28,000 dementia caregivers in Wyoming depend on in-home care and respite services to care for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. These services help prevent burnout and allow families to care for their loved ones in home for as long as possible, providing the best outcomes for those living with dementia. While Wyoming is facing a budget crisis, cutting the state’s Home-Based Care Program will have dire consequences for family caregivers and their loved ones. The Program’s support for family caregivers is substantial as is its impact on reducing expensive long-term care costs borne by the state. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state officials to fund the $2.7 million for the program in the biennium budget. Without these funds, many caregivers risk worsening their own health.
Ensure First Responders Can Protect Wyomingites Living With Dementia
Law enforcement officers and first responders are critical to the health and safety of Wyomingites living with Alzheimer’s. They frequently interact with individuals who have dementia in a variety of settings and are among the first to observe instances of abuse and neglect. Without proper training on how to recognize the signs of dementia and how to effectively communicate with people with dementia, situations may escalate quickly with potentially dangerous consequences. The Alzheimer’s Association is calling on policymakers to support efforts in Wyoming to provide dementia training to all law enforcement officers to educate these professionals on understanding specific behavior symptoms, effective communication strategies, protocols for contacting caregivers and available local resources.
Focus State Efforts to Increase Brain Health Awareness and Planning
Wyoming has some of the highest health care costs and faces some of the most dire health outcomes in the country. That affects everyone, especially those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As Wyoming is able to shift its focus away from dealing with the current pandemic, the Alzheimer’s Association is calling on state government officials to include early detection and general brain health information in public outreach campaigns aimed at the general public. While there is no way to prevent dementia, Wyomingites need to ensure they are taking every step to promote a healthy brain and have access to early detection of Alzheimer’s to allow them the opportunity to plan their care. Early planning not only makes sure Wyomingites are in charge of their care, but also helps alleviate the strain on families who want to be there and care for their loved ones.
Wyoming State Plan Overview
The Alzheimer's Association Wyoming Chapter worked with the Wyoming Division of Aging and a group of key stakeholders, at the direction of then-Governor Matt Mead, to develop the first Wyoming State Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementia. The Work Group was established in 2015 and current members 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 Work Group hosted town halls across the state to receive public input as part of their comprehensive, statewide needs assessment. The final plan — Wyoming State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias — was released in October 2018.
Wyoming State Advocacy Day
February 08, 2021
COVID-19 won't stop us from making sure Wyoming is taking care of our loved ones! The Alzheimer's Association Wyoming Chapter will connect Wyomingites with the state Legislature virtually this year, ensuring every lawmaker hears about how their decisions affect our loved ones! Join us!