In Iowa, the purpose of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) is to advocate for and protect the rights of individuals residing in long-term care with the goal of enhancing quality of life and care.
This includes ensuring that communication continues as desired for the resident of the facility and members of the community. In some other states the residents and tenants of long-term care facilities have been extremely hard hit by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) resulting in changes to visitation policies.
As a protective measure, many long-term care facilities in Iowa have taken steps to limit or restrict visitation between members of the community and residents and tenants of long-term care facilities.
These actions by facilities may be prudent in these pressing circumstances; however, opportunities for communication with residents and tenants must be made available by the long-term care facility. This communication may be accomplished in a variety of modes such as telephone, Facetime, Skype and Google Duo, to name a few examples.
This protection must also apply to opportunities for visitation with individuals in long-term care at end of life when the community member is healthy enough to visit.
If community members have difficulty reaching out to, and maintaining communications with their loved ones in long-term care facilities, the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman encourages them to call for assistance at 866-236-1430.