Long-Term Care Facility Task Force
Area Agency on Aging Region IIIA | Kalamazoo, MI
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Section: COVID-19




As the number of coronavirus cases increased among older adults in long-term care facilities in Kalamazoo County, the Area Agency on Aging Region IIIA created a long-term care facility (LTCF) Task Force in partnership with the public health department to provide community education and initiate preventive measures to safeguard this vulnerable population. In collaboration with the public health department, the LTCF Task Force worked to eliminate group activities, increase personal protective equipment, rearrange rooms to allow for isolation when necessary and test for COVID-19 in older adults, as well as the staff caring for them.
 
Since March, AAA IIIA has assisted with the public health COVID-19 hotline, coordinated with Information & Assistance for COVID-19 specific resources, implemented monthly calls with all long-term care facilities, created an email list-serve to send timely updates, developed educational tools for facilities and compiled emotional support resources for older adults in isolation due to the pandemic. These initiatives were shared statewide with the Health Officers, opening opportunities for other AAAs to collaborate with public health to expedite care to older adults during the pandemic.
 
The partnership continues with AAA IIIA nurses and directors assisting with monitoring facilities and discussing routine precautions on a rotation basis. This has increased relationships with facilities and allowed for quick communication when there has been a potential outbreak.
 
When a COVID-19 outbreak is reported to the public health department, long-term care facilities immediately initiate the LTCF Task Force response of education, resources and contact tracing.
 
Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is one of two public health departments in the state of Michigan that have the AAAs under the umbrella of their services. The collaboration between the AAA IIIA and the public health department has been an invaluable partnership in advocating and serving the older adults of Kalamazoo County.
 
The agency continues to explore and enhance their programming and outreach for elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation awareness and prevention, home delivered groceries through the food pantry and healthy living program coordination through senior centers.
 
For more information visit: https://www.kalcounty.com/hcs/covid19.php.