How Are Retirement Homes Responding to Covid-19?

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in over 5 million worldwide cases – of which more than 1.6 million are in the US – and over 300,000 global deaths. The pandemic has put politicians and business leaders in an unprecedented situation, as they look to curb the spread of the virus without causing too much damage to the economy and international supply chains.

How Are Retirement Homes Responding to Covid-19
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Social distancing measures have been implemented in dozens and dozens of countries around the world, with workers being encouraged to work remotely, restaurants and bars closing their doors, and people being urged to avoid domestic or international travel unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Senior housing particularly vulnerable

Senior housing is one area of the economy which is particularly vulnerable to the economic shocks of Covid-19, as seniors have been found to be much more vulnerable to the virus than healthy adults and children.

Retirement homes across the US have been following guidance from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission within their facilities, among their vulnerable residents.

With regards to new move-ins into retirement homes, such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes, some have closed their doors but many are still accepting new residents. However, new measures have been put in place as part of broader social distancing.

For example, instead of visiting different retirement homes when deciding which one to move in to, seniors are now having virtual tours and rarely visit the premises in person until they actually move in.

Cost of retirement homes in the US

On average, the cost of living in a retirement home in the US is anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 per month, according to research cited by Senior Living Near Me. So, it may seem strange that seniors are making such large a financial decision (picking which home to spend their retirement in) without even visiting it first, but these times are truly unprecedented and most have no other option.

Senior living facilities have also implemented strict social distancing measures within their homes, such as the cancellation of communal activities, such as bingo night, and also the cancellation of planned trips and outings.

Furthermore, retirement homes have also made hand sanitizer more readily available for residents and staff to use. They are also encouraging senior residents to wash their hands more often with soap and water, as research has suggested this is the best way to kill coronavirus germs on your hands.

Face mask controversy

Senior wearing a face mask - image

The wearing of face masks has been a contentious topic ever since the pandemic broke out in late 2019. Experts are divided over whether or not it’s advisable for everyone to wear a face mask, as, on the one hand, it can stop infected people from spreading the virus to others, but it could lead to a shortage of medical-grade masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.

Each country has a differing stance on this, but senior living facilities have been advised to ask residents who are stick – either with coronavirus or just displaying similar symptoms – to wear a face mask to reduce the likelihood of them infecting others.


Interesting related article: “What is the coronavirus?