A Message to Our Customers, From Caring’s CEO Jim Rosenthal

Dear Friends,

We hope you are doing as well as possible under the circumstances. As always, we at Caring.com are here to support you with relevant senior care information and resources.  

We are closely monitoring the latest developments regarding COVID-19 and our industry to ensure our Family Advisors are ready to help you with the most relevant information. We take pride in helping you, especially during this challenging time.

Our mission has remained the same since our organization’s founding in 2007: we help seniors and those caring for seniors make better decisions – and feel less alone and less stressed – while navigating the many challenges of caregiving, which can be overwhelming even in normal times. While COVID-19 has affected nearly everyone’s daily lives, seniors are particularly impacted given their increased vulnerability.

Our Family Advisors are available to help you navigate your options: senior living communities, in-home care, and other senior care services and resources. You can reach our Family Advisors at (800) 973-1540. As always, our services are free to you.

We are working closely with our senior living community partners to stay updated on their offerings, including the safeguards in place to help seniors stay safe and avoid contracting COVID-19. To respond to this unprecedented situation, communities are adjusting meals, activities, family interactions, and daily cleaning routines. As always, the safety, well being, and quality of life of their senior residents is at the forefront of the amazing teams running the senior living communities across our nation. 

Where applicable, Caring.com is actively scheduling virtual tours to help prospective residents and their family members learn more about a community and its staff. Our online directories continue to host a comprehensive collection of consumer reviews, with highly rated service providers designated as Caring Stars. This feedback remains an important input to many seniors’ decision-making. 

We know that seniors and their caregivers have a range of concerns and pressing needs regardless of this unusual situation–we are here to help however we can.  Feel free to contact me at my email below.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones,

Jim Rosenthal | CEO at Caring.com


Caring for Your Senior Loved One During COVID-19:
Frequently Asked Questions

How can I help my senior loved one stay healthy and avoid COVID-19?

Good question, as seniors are particularly impacted due to increased vulnerability. If your loved one has any symptoms, consult a physician immediately.

Avoiding exposure to the virus is the best way to prevent illness to yourself as well as not spreading the disease among your community. Follow the recommendations of your doctor(s), the CDC, and other government (local, state and federal) and healthcare authorities.  

Current recommendations include the following:

  • Frequently wash your hands, use soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face 
  • Avoid physical contact with others in public places (such as when going to the pharmacy, grocery store or post office), keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others
  • As much as possible, shelter-in-place (stay home) and limit/avoid visitors inside the home 

If you are concerned about a loved one currently in a senior living community or you are actively considering moving a senior into one, take comfort that most communities are actively monitoring the situation and implementing appropriate safety procedures.

What are senior living communities doing to protect residents from COVID-19? 

The industry response has been rapid and impressive. Senior living communities already had extensive measures to support the health and well-being of their senior residents, and have quickly adapted with additional protocols. The communities are actively monitoring the situation and new recommendations from the CDC and local/state authorities–and are implementing changes accordingly.

While the specific responses vary by community, examples include:

  • Limiting or suspending non-essential visits, while screening those allowed in (screenings include temperature checks, surveying about recent travel or illness, and requiring masks and gloves)
  • Getting creative with family visits, such as having family members interact with their senior loved ones through “window visits,” or hosting visits via FaceTime and other video-chat technology
  • Delivering meals to residents’ rooms, and altering activities to ensure that residents are more than 6 feet apart from one another 
  • Quarantining any residents who become ill
  • In some cases, quarantining new residents for up to 14 days

Caring.com works closely with senior living communities to know their latest policies and procedures. Our Family Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and connect you to specific communities: (800) 973-1540.  As always, our services are free to you.

Should we be considering a move to senior living right now? How can I learn more about a community if I can’t visit in-person? 

Senior living communities remain an excellent option for seniors nationwide, with most communities offering better safety and quality of life than if the senior were home alone–even during this crisis. With so many different communities and service options, finding the best match for your loved one (or yourself) is a project that requires research, with multiple considerations

Caring’s Family Advisors ease the search and selection process for seniors and their family members. We can discuss and refer you to the communities that best fit your needs. During this crisis, many communities are doing virtual tours using technology like FaceTime and Zoom–our Family Advisors can schedule your tour (whether in-person or virtual) and walk you through the steps to get the most from each tour. 

Our website also hosts consumer reviews–you and your loved one can read prior customers’ experiences at the communities. 

Caring.com works closely with senior living communities to know their latest policies and procedures. Our Family Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and connect you to specific communities: (800) 973-1540.  As always, our services are free to you.

How can I help my senior loved one stay safe and well cared for from afar?

Long-distance caregiving presents unique challenges.  There are many resources to support you and your loved one. 

First, learn as much as possible about your loved one’s situation, including any safety risks or care gaps. Current travel restrictions, social distancing and shelter-in-place requirements can make this discovery process challenging, but not impossible. Call and ask questions about how they are coping with all the news and about their daily life: Do you have plenty of groceries? Are you calling your friends instead of visiting them?

Once you have an understanding of their local environment and situation, you can start to explore different options to ensure your loved ones’ needs are being met, such as:

  • Hiring a professional in-home caregiver to assist with activities of daily living (such as eating and hygiene), provide medication reminders, and be a reassuring companion
  • Purchasing a medical alert system to enable independence while still ensuring help is available when needed; there are many different types, for a variety of uses and benefits, and these systems can be lifesaving for seniors with serious medical conditions 
  • Helping your loved one sign up for services like medication delivery or grocery delivery

If your loved one’s needs are high, you may want to consider an assisted living community

Caring’s Family Advisors can help you understand senior care options, and connect you to specific service providers and resources: (800) 973-1540. As always, our services are free to you.

A local Area Agency on Aging near your loved one may also have suggestions, particularly for low-income or free service assistance. 

My loved one has dementia. Are there additional precautions or caregiving tips you can share with me? 

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is not easy on the best of days.  COVID-19 adds additional challenges. For example, adhering to the recommendation to frequently wash one’s hands may require posting reminders near sinks and distributing alcohol-based soap and hand sanitizer around the home. 

Continue daily in-home routines to mitigate confusion and disorientation. If sundowning is an issue, the Dementia Spotlight Foundation recommends taking walks in the early morning when few are around, exercising in the yard, keeping lights on from 7am to 6pm, and engaging your loved one in physical activities (such as helping with cleaning) during the day, to aid with sleep at night.

Make contingency care plans. Appoint somebody to care for your loved one if you become ill or unavailable. 

Caring’s Family Advisors can help you explore options, such as a memory care community or in-home care: (800) 973-1540. As always, our services are free to you.

You can connect with others in similar situations via online support groups (such as those of the Alzheimer’s Association or Memory People), to discuss concerns and get peer feedback at any time. Caring.com also has Alzheimer’s caregiving information to support you.