State Program Gives Voice To Those In Long-Term Care
Photo: Wyoming Department of Health
For some people, a trip to the hospital is a rare occasion. For others, such as the elderly and disabled, it may be routine. Wyoming residents with questions or concerns about long-term care services can find an advocate through the Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program offered through the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
The program focuses on the rights 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. There is no charge for receiving assistance from the program.
“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, in a press release.
According to the WDH, the most common complaint is involuntary facility discharges. “We also hear questions about admissions, health services, conflicts with staff, food, recipient funds, billing and transfers,” Hruby said.
In order to best serve all of Wyoming, WDH employs a state long-term care ombudsman and contracts with a private, nonprofit organization to provide three full-time regional ombudsmen. The regional ombudsmen can provide information and guidance about a person’s situation to help people advocate on their own behalf. In some cases, an ombudsman can also advocate for an individual who needs help, or mediate and work toward resolving problems.
According to Hruby, 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.
Sheridan, Johnson, Natrona, Campbell, Crook, Weston, Niobrara, and Platte Counties Ombudsman:
Lee Alter, Regional Ombudsman
951 Werner Court, Suite 295
Casper, WY 82061
Phone: 307-235-5959 or toll free 1-877-634-1006