AARP calls on Gov. Ducey to fund inspections of long-term care facilities
PHOENIX — In a letter sent to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday, the AARP called on the governor to utilize federal funding for the inspection of long-term care facilities throughout the state.
It was the fourth letter of its kind the group had sent to Ducey.
Director for Arizona AARP Dana Marie Kennedy encouraged Ducey to appropriate funds from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to advance additional inspections and better equip facilities to respond to the coronavirus outbreak with more personal protective equipment, staffing and testing.
“As a result of your action, facilities began restricting access in an effort to slow the spread,” Kennedy wrote.
“However, in doing so, Long Term Care Ombudsmen have not been allowed inside facilities to identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents in LTC facilities.”
Federal data released last week revealed that at least 129 residents have died from the coronavirus in Arizona nursing homes.
Of the 129 deaths, 85 occurred within metro Phoenix nursing homes.
The data only accounted for nursing homes beginning on May 8 and did not include coronavirus case totals or deaths from assisted-living facilities and other senior living centers.
Despite criticism, the state of Arizona has cited privacy concerns in refusing to release information regarding long-term care facilities and COVID-19 cases and deaths.
On May 29, a state judge ruled in favor of the state of Arizona’s policy.