3 Assisted Living Communities in Wyoming
Elmcroft of Sugarland Ridge
Pointe Frontier Retirement
Wyoming is the least populous state in the Union, with only 580,000 people, 16 percent of whom are over age 65. Known as "the Equality State" since its founding in the 1890s, it was the first state to grant women the right to vote. Wyoming is home to the first national park (Yellowstone), the first national monument (Chimney Rock) and thousands of authentic old-fashioned cowboys who still participate in cattle drives up from El Paso each year.
The state flower, Indian paintbrush, blooms all over the high prairie that makes up roughly half of Wyoming's landscape. These natural grasslands are also home to the state bird, the Western meadowlark. Seniors who can manage a daylong hike can find both almost anywhere in the state that's within range of one of its few sizable cities.
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is part of a long-term residential care plan for seniors who wish to retain some of their independence but still get the help they need to get by every day. Residents in assisted living in Wyoming can expect help from facility staff with the activities of daily living (ADLs) that have become difficult for them, such as bathing, dressing and keeping their rooms clean.
What Does Assisted Living Cost in Wyoming?
In Wyoming, the average monthly cost of assisted living is $4,235, according to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
Assisted living costs about $4,235 a month in Wyoming. This is quite a bit more than the national median monthly cost of $3,750. Seniors who are used to paying for home health aides, however, may see significant cost savings from moving into an assisted living community in Wyoming. This is because the typical cost of regular in-home care in the state rises as high as $4,767 a month. The two major urban areas in the state, Cheyenne and Casper, are slightly more expensive than average for Wyoming. Assisted living in these cities averages $4,610 and $4,450, respectively.
How Is Assisted Living Regulated in Wyoming?
The Wyoming Department of Health requires all assisted living facilities in the state to apply for and maintain a valid license to operate. The department monitors conditions at its listed properties, and department staff work to ensure a uniformly high level of care for residents by publishing training and best practices guidelines, advising on matters of training and senior care and responding to public complaints and concerns with regular site inspections to make sure all is well at licensed assisted living communities across Wyoming.
How Is Assisted Living in Wyoming Affected by Laws and Taxes?
Wyoming has no estate tax, no income tax and some of the lowest property and sales taxes in the country. Seniors with a pension pay nothing to the state on their income, and revenues from 401(k)s and IRAs are likewise untaxed. Wyoming does not tax Social Security, which can make a real difference for seniors who depend on their federal pension to get by. Aging citizens who shop for themselves still have a sales tax of 5.4 percent to pay, but prescription medication is exempt. Maybe best of all, some seniors over 65 qualify for up to a $900 annual rebate to compensate them for the amount of sales tax they've paid over the year. Income and residency restrictions apply to this rebate, so it's best to check eligibility with a professional before claiming it.
Politics in Wyoming
Wyoming's constitution was ratified in 1889, and in many ways, it's one of the most progressive documents in use in the United States. The Declaration of Rights, for example, calls for strict personal and political equality, as well as the statement that "absolute, arbitrary power exists nowhere in a Republic." Living up to its nickname as the Equality State, Wyoming was the first state in the Union to grant women a vote, which it did nearly 30 years before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified.
Today, Wyoming has a system of elections that many seniors may find agreeable. Absentee voting is allowed from 40 days prior to the election, and any qualified elector can ask for permanent absentee status and vote by mail, if desired. Same-day registration is not possible in Wyoming, though forms are available from county clerks' offices throughout the state all year long.
Politically, Wyoming is a very deep red state. The state's tiny group of three electors is the absolute minimum allowed by the U.S. Constitution, but being the least-populous state has an odd advantage. As the minimum number of votes the state can cast in presidential elections is never less than Wyoming has right now, individual Wyoming voters have, in effect, more personal voting power than residents in much larger states. Each of the three electors in Wyoming casts a vote on behalf of one-third of the population, or around 193,333 people. In a more densely populated state, such as California, 40 million residents are voted for by 55 electors, each of whom is voting on behalf of 797,272 voters, making a Wyoming resident's vote for president roughly four times as powerful in the Electoral College. Given that Wyoming is one of the most Republican-friendly states, this translates into a meaningful advantage for candidates who can win over the state.
- Yellowstone was the first national park, established in 1872. Today, the park attracts over 4 million visitors a year, despite being an active volcanic caldera.
- The Red Desert basin in the middle part of the state sits in an odd spot. The Continental Divide splits just north of the basin, then comes back together to the south of it, so the little rain that falls there can't drain into either the Atlantic or the Pacific.
- The bucking bronco that appears on Wyoming's license plates was a real horse that lived in the early 20th century. Its name was "Old Steamboat," and it had a reputation as being impossible to ride.