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Department of Health coping with aging population

WYOMING – Like other states, Wyoming is getting older. The number of Wyoming residents over the age of 65 is expected to grow from about 90,000 individuals in 2016 to 138,000 in 2030, representing a 56 percent increase. In contrast, Wyoming’s entire population is expected to increase by less than 12 percent during the same period.

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is seeking feedback on its plan for the coming years to continue serving Wyoming’s rapidly aging population through programs offered by its Aging Division.

“These state projections tell us to expect a much higher percentage of Wyoming’s population to be older residents,” said Lisa Osvold, WDH aging division senior administrator. “As we look ahead, we must recognize the changing nature of our population and our residents’ needs.”

The U.S. Administration on Aging requires a new “Wyoming State Plan on Aging” every four years. “Our state plan is essentially the blueprint for the division’s efforts and services for older Wyoming residents during the next four years,” Osvold said. “The funds we receive and distribute make it possible to maintain a comprehensive network of services to help older adults and people with severe disabilities live as independently as possible, as well as to support their families.”

Those wishing to comment on the newest state plan, which will cover October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2021, are encouraged to attend a public hearing on July 3, 10am, at 6101 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne in the Lower Level Training Room. Accommodations will be made for handicapped and non-English speaking individuals who wish to attend.

“We’re also inviting citizens to submit written comments,” Osvold said.  A draft plan can be viewed online at https://health.wyo.gov/aging. To request a hard copy or to submit comments, please contact Linda Chasson at (307) 777-6103, or toll-free at (800) 442-2766, or email: wyaging@wyo.gov. Written comments must be received by noon on July 3.

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