Letter to the Editor – Aug. 16

Dear Editor,

Crook County Senior Services, Incorporated is a 501c3 non-profit organization and was started by the seniors in Crook County in 1996. CCSS receives funding from six state and federal grants and also relies on monies received from program income, fundraising and donations as grants received do not cover all the costs to maintain the programs provided.

The programs provided by CCSS were made available through the Older Americans Act of 1965. CCSS provides services to seniors and the disabled throughout Crook County. The goal of the programs provided is to assist individuals in maintaining their independence allowing them to stay in their own home as long as possible.

Programs provided include public transportation, nutritious meals at the centers, home delivered meals, nursing, personal cares, medical alert machines in the client’s home, respite, home-making, loan closets, socialization, support and education.

The cost of one year of our senior meals served is equal to six days in a nursing home or one day in a hospital. The Wyoming Home Services (WyHS) Program provides services to qualifying individuals 18 years of age and over and costs are determined on a sliding fee scale.

Private duty nursing costs approximately $36 per hour. On the WyHS Program as determined from the sliding fee scale one hour of nursing care could cost as little as $1 per hour and no more than $16.20 per hour.

The programs provided are affordable and save families, taxpayers and the state from the high costs of living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The cost of long term care at a nursing facility starts at approximately $7000 per month and assisted living costs approximately $3000 per month.

According to the Wyoming Department of Health-Aging Division’s State Plan on Aging, Wyoming’s population over the age of 65 is expected to grow 56 percent by 2030. With the increase in the aging population there will not be enough facilities to accommodate the growing needs of our senior population.

We need to plan for the future of our Crook County residents now before this becomes a crisis.

With funding cuts there is less each year and with the projections of Wyoming’s aging population needing our services there will be a shortfall. How will someone decide who is not going to receive our services due to funding shortfalls?

CCSS would like to thank you for supporting our programs and seniors throughout the years and ask for your continued support by voting YES to establish Crook County Senior Services District and one mill levy (with the potential of a two mill levy in the future, if needed). The cost of one mill levy is approximately $9.50 per $100,000 of property market value.

This mill levy will ensure that our Crook County residents will be able to continue receiving necessary services and continue to live independently in our communities.

Thank you for your support,

CCSS Board of Directors: Linda Peterson, Bonnie Beaudoin, Winifred Bush, Kay Cheshier, Rod Knudson, Margaret Lynch, Dorothy Wood

Jana McLean, Program Executive Director