Throughout the pandemic, qualified service providers (QSPs) in North Dakota have continued to provide important personal care services, meal preparation help and related support so that older adults and individuals with disabilities can continue living in their homes and communities. The in-home services these caregivers provide make it possible for about 2,500 North Dakotans to live at home even though many qualify for nursing home care.
The North Dakota Department of Human Services and the North Dakota Association of Community Providers (NDACP) have been working together since late spring to provide personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, to qualified service providers in North Dakota at no cost.
“While businesses are responsible for securing their own supplies, we realized many agency and independent qualified service providers were facing challenges. Supplies were scarce and sources ever changing,” said Nancy Nikolas Maier, Aging Services Division director.
To date, funds from the CARES Act, North Dakota’s Money Follows the Person program, which supports home and community-based services, and a small grant from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities have been used to provide PPE to 220 agency and individual QSPs.
PPE kits have been distributed directly to providers and indirectly through the department’s Aging Services regional administrators and home and community-based services case managers who live and work in local communities across the state.
“Whether QSPs work for a caregiver agency or are independently employed, they are impacted by the cost of masks, gloves, face shields and other protective equipment needed to keep clients and themselves healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Bruce Murry, director of NDACP. “We are pleased to help distribute needed equipment and supplies.”
PPE will be available at no cost to North Dakota QSPs through Dec. 31, 2020, or until supplies and funding are no longer available, whichever occurs earlier. Interested QSPs should contact NDACP at ppe [dot] ndacpgmail [dot] com and 701-620-2933, 711 (TTY).