The Unique Challenges Faced by Assisted Living Communities to Meet Federal Guidelines for COVID-19.J Aging Soc Policy. 2020 Jul-Oct; 32(4-5):334-342.JA
This perspective addresses the challenges that assisted living (AL) providers face concerning federal guidelines to prevent increased spread of COVID-19. These challenges include restriction of family visitation, use of third-party providers as essential workers, staffing guidelines, transfer policies, and rural AL hospitalizations. To meet these challenges we recommend that AL providers incorporate digital technology to maintain family-resident communication. We also recommend that states adopt protocols that limit the number of AL communities visited by home health care workers in a 14-day period, appeal to the federal government for hazard pay for direct care workers, and to extend the personal care attendant program to AL. It is further recommended that states work with AL communities to implement COVID-19 comprehensive emergency management plans that are well-coordinated with local emergency operation centers to assist with transfers to COVID-19 specific locations and to assist in rural areas with hospital transfers. Together, these recommendations to AL providers and state and federal agencies address the unique structure and needs of AL and would enable AL communities to be better prepared to care for and reduce those infected with COVID-19.