Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Wyoming Department of Health Concludes Facility is Necessary Safety Net and Should Not Be Closed

After an 8 month legislatively-directed study, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) concluded that the residents of the Wyoming Life Resource Center (WLRC) should not be forced to transfer to smaller programs. “The WDH considers the WLRC to function as a safety net in Wyoming. While there are many reasons for this recommendation, perhaps one of the most basic (yet critical) reason is the fact that a majority of the current WLRC clients have resided at the facility for the majority of their lives. A transition could impact their physical and mental well-being, resulting in a decline in their current conditions,” the report concluded. Lawmakers earlier this year asked the health department to study the most effective way to care for the center’s residents. Most of the people living at the Lander facility have severe developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries that require intensive support. Many also exhibit severe behavioral problems.

In addition to resident well-being, community capacity and family/guardian perception of individual quality of life at WLRC factored into WDH’s conclusions. “In summary, guardians/family members of WLRC clients that chose to respond to this survey indicated they (and their clients) are very satisfied with the services at the WLRC. Some also stated that in previous placements outside WLRC, they and their wards were unsatisfied with the arrangement. Finally, the perception reported by the majority of the guardians/family members was that their clients would not experience as high a quality of life as they do at WLRC if they transitioned to a community setting.

Family members surveyed for the study said moving their loved ones to community programs would result in a lower quality of life.

Click here for a related article and copy of the final report