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Thu October 12, 2006
Keeping the Elderly Out of Nursing Homes
By Elsa Heidorn
Laramie, WY – Helping elderly people stay in their own homes rather than go to nursing homes could save the state money. That's the report from the Wyoming Healthcare Commission, which met this week in Casper to discuss ways to cut Wyoming's Medicaid bill. One study found that providing a medical attendant for a person at home costs $14,000 dollars a year, while putting that person in a nursing home costs $36,000 dollars a year. Commission Director Susan Anderson says home healthcare attendants can provide a wide range of services. "Those workers, in a number of different programs, can do anything from help cut their grass to help them monitor their medications," Anderson said. "And with a little bit of help at home a person can stay there longer and not be in the institution," she added. The Healthcare Commission voted unanimously in favor of enhancing a program called Project Out that helps people get back into their own homes. Commissioners will meet once more in November before giving their final recommendations to the legislature in December.