No, staff members of assisted living facilities do not always have enough PPE. In cases where PPE is scarce, institutions are saving PPE for those who have the closest contact with residents.

Exactly how much access to PPE that assisted living staff has can vary dramatically by state, the supplier that the institution is using, and a variety of other factors. In areas where supplies are scarce, some local manufacturers are changing their factories so that they can produce urgently-needed PPE even though that is not their main product line. The availability problems that assisted living homes are experiencing are also being faced by nursing homes and hospitals. 

The CDC has responded to the increased national need for PPE by issuing numerous guidelines and tools for managing the supply. In some cases, the CDC guidelines allow for the reuse of protective items and for the use of less effective but still beneficial alternatives, such as reusable cloth masks. Since supply varies by location, the best way to know if your facility has adequate PPE is to ask the management directly.

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