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AARP: Long term care facilities should help facilitate 'virtual' visits

As the Burgum Administration looks at reinstating visitation in long term care facilities, AARP is urging that be done in careful adherence to CMS guidelines, to ensure the health of staff, visitors and residents.

AARP is also urging those long term care facilities to offer and facilitate “virtual” visits with loved ones in those facilities.

AARP state director Josh Askvig said a few weeks ago, the state announced it had received a grant that was going to help facilitate some of this.

"It's long overdue," Askvig said. "Families are hungry for information about what's happening."

Askvig said the state should play a role to set it up and get it done sooner than later.

"There's no reason loved ones should be without virtual visitation in today's day and age," Askvig said.

Askvig said he received a call from a woman, who said she only found out about this opportunity because she was talking to a social worker about a concern she had about her mother.

"They said, 'Haven't you seen her?' And she said, 'Of course I haven't seen her,'" Askvig said. "They told her, 'You could do video calls. We've had that set up for some time.' And that's where AARP thinks the state could help facilitate some of that."

Askvig also said AARP wants more transparency – in that the state should identify which facilities are reporting cases of COVID-19. He said it’s critical information for public health and the well-being of residents.

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