By Peter O'Dowd
Laramiie, WY – Wyoming's medical infrastructure is understaffed and under prepared for a surge in the state's population of elderly residents. Deb Flemming is the director of the new gerontology center at the University of Wyoming. She says she would be surprised if the state has more than one or two physicians with a specialty in geriatric medicine. She also says there aren't enough nurses, social workers, and mental health care professionals to meet the needs of older residents.
I think (the elderly) should be very alert and concerned and making their voices heard that the state needs to make a response to this aging population that we have, Flemming says.
The U-S Census Bureau predicts that by 2030, Wyoming will rank second for the proportion of those who are 65 years old and older. The University of Wyoming just received a 600-thousand dollar grant from the federal government to open the state's first center for geriatrics