No, most common areas and recreational facilities in assisted living homes are not open during COVID-19. Some common areas may be open under modified rules, such as allowing fewer residents into the room at a time.

At this time, the common areas most likely to be closed include dining rooms, in-house hair salons, and recreation rooms. In some states, assisted living proprietors are pushing to reopen in-house salons with modified policies (such as one customer at a time), but exactly when salons and other common areas will open depends on the location.

Most common areas may be closed, but that doesn’t mean that seniors have nothing to do. Below you can learn about some spaces (real and virtual) that are serving as areas of connection now. 

  • The Hallways: Residents can sit at the entrance of their room and talk across the hall. They can also participate in no-touch group activities, like bingo, that have been modified to be played from the hallway.
  • The Internet: In place of group outings, some facilities stream video tours of famous museums. Other media, like audiobooks and music, may be offered by the facility as well. Seniors may enjoy reading, watching, or listening to the same media and then talking over Zoom about it in a virtual book club.
  • The Outdoors: Some homes have nature trails that are open, and residents may be encouraged to walk with proper distance between each other. They may also be able to feed birds, sit on benches, water plants, or complete small gardening projects.

COVID-19 Update: With social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many seniors are struggling with loneliness and isolation. We’ve developed a list of products that caregivers or seniors can purchase to help older adults stay happy, healthy and connected, whether they are aging in place at home or in an assisted living community.

Additional Coronavirus FAQs