Nursing homes have put several emergency safety measures in place including restricting visitors, screening staff members for symptoms, and enforcing enhanced hygiene protocols to ensure that residents with dementia don’t get the coronavirus. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and CDC have advised nursing homes to:

  • Strictly limit visitors to only essential personnel, or completely close the community to visitors
  • Discontinue communal dining and bring residents meals directly to their rooms
  • Discontinue group activities and encourage residents to utilize independent and online entertainment options
  • Frequently screen staff members by taking their temperature and checking for symptoms of the virus. Many communities screen staff members at the beginning of each shift, and have encouraged staff not to travel or to take a leave of absence from work if they have traveled recently.
  • Regularly take residents’ temperatures and monitor their health for any signs of the virus. If any resident of a community does contract the virus, all residents and staff will be tested.

People with dementia may need more guidance than others to adhere to safety guidelines like washing their hands regularly and wearing a mask, so staff should be taking extra precautions with these patients to ensure they are following all expert recommendations. For example, some communities may enact scheduled handwashing times for dementia patients several times throughout the day. 

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