Nursing Home Abuse in Wyoming

Wyoming Nursing Home Laws and Regulations

Elder abuse in nursing home or long-term care facilities has long been an issue, and it comes in many forms that some may not have even considered: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and even monetary exploitation. These problems have only grown in the past few years, prompting the federal government to set forth regulations governing nursing homes and elder care homes. In addition to these federal rules, there are state by state laws as well. Wyoming nursing home laws and regulations are handled by the Wyoming Department of Family Services as well as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Whether you are moving into a nursing home yourself, or you have a loved one who is living in one of these facilities, it is vital that you learn more about Wyoming nursing home laws and regulations.

The Ombudsman

One part of Wyoming nursing home laws and regulations is the Ombudsmen Act. This is a law that was created to essentially ensure nursing home abuse was properly handled and any disagreements were mediated properly. According to the Wyoming state legislature, the ombudsman has four different responsibilities:

  • To investigate and mediate and to work as an advocate on behalf of elderly adults who are currently receiving long-term care. This can include resolving complaints on actions that have affected resident safety, welfare, health, and rights.
  • To provide information publically and to public agencies about problems and complaints from residents of long-term care facilities.
  • To carry out any activities that are in line with the purpose of the elder abuse act.
  • To monitor and implement federal, state, and local laws that would have an impact on long-term care in the state of Wyoming.

So, when a resident of a facility in Wyoming makes a complaint, it is the responsibility of the ombudsman to research and investigate this while acting as an advocate of the patient themselves. You can learn more about this act and the regulations surrounding it by going here.

Adult Protective Services

The state of Wyoming nursing home laws and regulations involve defining the different types of abuse. According to Wyoming Adult Protective Services, this includes:

  • Abandonment, or leaving an elderly adult without financial support or the means to live.
  • Abuse, or intentionally causing physical or mental harm to an elderly adult.
  • Exploitation, or the act of using means to take money or other assets from vulnerable elderly adults.
  • Intimidation, or using words and acts of an elderly adult to keep that person in fear of physical violence, deprivation, or medication.
  • Self-Neglect, or the act of an elderly adult to refuse or be unable to handle self-care tasks and provide adequate living conditions.
  • Sexual Abuse, or the sexual contact including touching, assault, battery, exploitation, and photography for sexual purposes.

Reporting Abuse

Wyoming nursing home laws and regulations ensure that you can report abuse even if you just suspect it. The state has set up the Call Because You Care Program and you can contact the Wyoming Department of Family Services, Adult Protective Services at 307-777-3602. Additionally, you can contact the Wyoming Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at 307-856-6880. If you suspect abuse and the situation is urgent or an emergency, then the state urges you to call 911 immediately. Finally, there is also a hotline available at 800-457-3659, where you would be able to speak to someone between 8 am and 5 pm five days a week.

Elder abuse continues to be a problem, but Wyoming nursing home abuse laws and regulations are attempting to resolve this issue as much as possible by making it easier to report the crime and ensuring the elderly individuals have an advocate in abuse situations.

Resources:

http://legisweb.state.wy.us/statutes/statutes.aspx?file=titles/Title9/T9CH2AR13.htm

https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/dfsweb/social-services/adult-protective-services-aps

http://dfsweb.wyo.gov/home/latest-news/callbecauseyoucarereportingelderabuseandneglect

 

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