During this reporting period, North Dakota (ND) Assistive worked with the ND Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division to conduct the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)/No Wrong Door Funding Opportunity Critical Relief Funds for COVID-19 Pandemic Response-Connection Cart Project from Cares Act funding. This project focused on purchasing and distributing assistive technology devices to long-term care facilities to help access the internet and/or telephone services to increase social engagement and social connectedness, and to reduce social isolation.
From July 2020 to September 30, 2020, over 1000 pieces of equipment were distributed to over 100 Long-Term Care Facilities (basic, skilled, and then assisted living as funds allow). This project will continue to run through June of 2021 or until the funds run out.
This project also created an opportunity for public awareness regarding ND Assistive Services and the benefits of assistive technology in general. Many Zoom presentations, phone calls, and informative emails took place during this period with the 100 nursing homes across the state. Hundreds of facility administrators, social workers, activity directors, information technology managers, therapists, etc. learned of the benefits of AT. As a result, each facility not only acquired technology through the Cares Act, but these events led to referrals for equipment demonstrations, loans, and future training opportunities. It also opened the door of communication for future needs.