October 28, 2020

Pima Council on Aging Represents Older Adults on Governor’s Task Force on Long-Term Care

TUCSON, AZ – Pima Council on Aging’s President & CEO, W. Mark Clark, will represent the Area Agencies on Aging in Arizona on Governor Ducey’s Task Force on Long-Term Care.

Governor Ducey announced on July, 28, 2020 that he was establishing a task force on long-term care to develop recommendations and metrics on how and when visitation within long-term care facilities can be safely resumed and what steps facilities can take before then to help residents and their loved ones maintain contact. COVID-19 has brought tremendous challenges to those living in long-term care facilities. For months, many family members and oversight agencies have not been allowed to enter facilities for fear of infecting residents.

Pima Council on Aging serves as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Pima County, representing the federally protected rights of people in long-term care facilities. Last fiscal year, PCOA resolved 900 complaints in Pima County’s long-term care and assisted living facilities, and the Ombudsman staff and volunteers have been available for telephonic and video consultation and mediation during the pandemic.

“I am humbled and honored to represent the Area Agencies on Aging on the Governor’s task force on long-term care,” said W. Mark Clark. “We know that these facilities are particularly vulnerable to serious and rapidly growing infection and at the same time, we recognize the need for people to see their loved ones. This has been a difficult time for residents, staff, and family alike. I am excited to work with my colleagues from across the state to find safe and practical solutions for addressing social isolation and loneliness in these facilities.”

Pima Council on Aging continues to take precautions to safely serve the public. People in long-term care facilities can reach the Ombudsman by calling the Helpline at (520) 790-7262 or by emailing LTCO@pcoa.org.