WYOMING NEWS SERVICE, Cheyenne, WY – A one-stop shop of sorts has been tested in Wyoming since 2005: a place where people can take their questions about services and care options as they age or face a disability.
In the upcoming Legislative Session in Cheyenne, lawmakers will look at whether to keep that network of Aging and Disability Resource Centers, or ARDC's, in place.
Aging Division Administrator, Ginny Mahoney, says they would like to expand the program statewide, as it has been well-received in the communities where it's been offered.
State Senator Marty Martin is sponsoring a bill to keep the network running and extend its reach to every corner of the state, including a website and toll-free line. He says his constituents like the system, and 43 other states have similar networks because they are cost-effective.
Debbie Walter is the lead grants manager for the ARDC. She says it keeps people in their homes, which is a top request she hears when families face aging and disability issues.
The network hooks people up with providers – for housekeeping, personal care or health care – and then coordinates services. Mahoney calls the program unbiased, because they don't work on behalf of companies that provide services.
The program was run as a pilot for a number of years, and then continued under grant funding, but those monies run out in 2012.