Navigating a Silver Wave: Hiring Trends in Senior Living

by CareerBoard Network Staff

The demographics of the United States are undergoing a significant shift. The baby boomer generation, the largest in American history, is rapidly aging, creating a surge in the demand for senior care services. This presents a golden opportunity for the senior living industry, but also a pressing challenge: attracting and retaining a qualified workforce. This essay will explore the key hiring trends shaping the senior living landscape, examining the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of technology, and the evolving needs and expectations of employees.

The Post-Pandemic Rebound: Overcoming Staffing Shortages

The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the senior living industry. Staffing shortages reached critical levels as caregivers faced health concerns, burnout, and the allure of better wages elsewhere. A 2023 report by Argentum, a leading senior living association, revealed that the industry lost over 10% of its workforce between February 2020 and January 2022 [1].

However, there are promising signs of recovery. As of October 2023, senior living employment growth is outpacing the national average, with assisted living communities even exceeding pre-pandemic staffing levels [2]. This rebound can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, senior living facilities have increased wages and benefits to make careers in the industry more competitive. Secondly, the easing of pandemic restrictions has created a sense of normalcy, making the healthcare field less risky for some potential employees. Finally, the aging baby boomer generation itself is providing a ready pool of individuals seeking new career paths, offering valuable life experience and a natural affinity for working with seniors.

Beyond Recovery: New Strategies for Talent Acquisition

While the industry is on the right track, the projected growth in senior living jobs far outpaces the anticipated growth rate of the overall workforce. To bridge this gap, senior living facilities are adopting innovative approaches to talent acquisition.

One strategy focuses on highlighting the mission and values of the organization. Senior living offers a unique opportunity to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Facilities are increasingly emphasizing this during recruitment, showcasing the positive impact caregivers can make on the well-being of residents. This resonates with a growing segment of the workforce seeking purpose and fulfillment in their careers [3].

Technology is also playing a crucial role in attracting talent. Platforms like Indeed and Cares are streamlining the application process, while social media is being used to showcase the positive aspects of working in senior living. Additionally, virtual reality experiences are being piloted to give potential candidates a realistic glimpse into the work environment and resident interactions.

Traditional full-time positions are not always the most attractive option for all potential employees. Facilities are exploring creative job models like part-time roles, weekend shifts, and on-demand staffing models. These options cater to a wider range of candidates, particularly those with childcare or other commitments, and can help mitigate burnout by spreading the workload.

Investing in training and development is another key strategy. Upskilling the existing workforce not only improves resident care but also demonstrates an organization’s commitment to employee growth. Training programs can be particularly attractive to younger generations who value career advancement opportunities.

The Rise of Technology: Redefining the Caregiver Role

Technology is no longer just a recruitment tool; it’s transforming the way senior care is delivered. Wearable health monitors, medication management systems, and telehealth platforms are becoming increasingly prevalent. While these technologies have the potential to improve efficiency and resident outcomes, they also require a workforce with new skillsets.

Senior living facilities are seeking caregivers who are comfortable using technology and can leverage it to enhance the resident experience. This means investing in training current staff and attracting new hires who possess a digital aptitude. Integrating technology effectively requires a shift towards a more tech-enabled care model, emphasizing collaboration between caregivers and technology.

The Evolving Employee Landscape: Meeting Modern Needs

Beyond competitive salaries and benefits, the needs and expectations of employees are also evolving. Senior living facilities need to create a work environment that fosters well-being, offers opportunities for advancement, and promotes work-life balance.

Prioritizing Employee Well-being remains a top priority, as burnout continues to plague the industry. Facilities are implementing employee well-being initiatives such as stress management programs, access to mental health resources, and flexible scheduling options. These efforts can demonstrably improve staff morale and retention.

Career Advancement Opportunities are critical for attracting and retaining talent. Creating clear career paths that showcase potential for growth can be highly motivating. This involves internal promotion opportunities, leadership training programs, and support for educational advancement.

Work-life balance is a major concern for many potential employees. Senior living facilities need to demonstrate a commitment to flexible working arrangements, predictable scheduling, and adequate breaks. This could include offering part-time positions, weekend shifts, and on-demand work options to accommodate diverse needs.

The Evolving Landscape of the Senior Living Job Market: Opportunities and Challenges

The senior living job market is experiencing a significant transformation in response to demographic shifts, changing consumer preferences, and advancements in healthcare. As the aging population continues to grow, the demand for senior living services and facilities is on the rise. This surge has given rise to a dynamic job market with various opportunities and challenges for professionals seeking careers in senior living.

Demographic Trends:

One of the primary drivers of the expanding senior living job market is the aging demographic. The baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, is reaching retirement age and fueling the demand for senior care services. As this demographic bulge ages, there is an increasing need for skilled professionals to cater to their unique healthcare, housing, and social needs.

Diversity of Senior Living Roles:

The senior living job market offers a diverse range of roles, reflecting the multifaceted needs of the elderly population. Traditional roles such as registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, and healthcare administrators remain crucial. Still, there’s also a growing demand for professionals in non-clinical roles such as recreational therapists, social workers, nutritionists, and activities coordinators.

Furthermore, the senior living industry encompasses various types of facilities, including independent living communities, assisted living facilities, memory care units, and skilled nursing homes. Each setting requires a specific set of skills and expertise, leading to a wide array of job opportunities for individuals with diverse backgrounds and qualifications.

Challenges in Workforce Recruitment:

While the demand for senior living professionals is high, the industry faces challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. The complex nature of senior care, coupled with the emotionally demanding aspects of working with an aging population, can make it challenging to attract new talent. The need for ongoing training and education to keep up with evolving healthcare practices is another factor that poses challenges in maintaining a skilled workforce.

Competitive Landscape and Compensation:

The competitive nature of the senior living job market has led to a focus on attracting top talent through competitive compensation packages and employee benefits. Organizations are recognizing the importance of offering competitive salaries, health insurance, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities to retain skilled professionals. This trend is expected to continue as the demand for qualified staff remains high.

Technological Integration:

The integration of technology in senior living facilities is another factor influencing the job market. From electronic health records to smart home technologies and telehealth services, professionals in the senior living industry are increasingly required to adapt to and utilize technological advancements. This trend not only improves the quality of care but also creates new job opportunities for individuals with expertise in healthcare technology and data management.

Emerging Trends in Senior Living Careers:

Several emerging trends are shaping the future of careers in senior living. For instance, there is a growing emphasis on person-centered care, which focuses on tailoring services to meet the individual needs and preferences of residents. This approach requires professionals with strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to enhancing the overall well-being of seniors.

Additionally, the concept of aging in place is gaining popularity, allowing seniors to receive care and support services in their own homes. This trend has spurred the creation of new job roles such as home health aides, caregivers, and remote healthcare professionals who can provide services outside of traditional senior living facilities.

The COVID-19 Impact:

The global pandemic has had a profound impact on the senior living job market. The heightened awareness of health and safety concerns has led to increased scrutiny of infection control measures within senior living facilities. This has created a demand for professionals with expertise in public health, epidemiology, and crisis management. The pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of telehealth services in senior care, creating opportunities for professionals skilled in virtual healthcare delivery.


The current senior living job market presents a landscape rich with opportunities and challenges. As the aging population continues to grow, the demand for skilled professionals in various roles within senior living facilities is expected to rise. To meet this demand, the industry must address challenges related to workforce recruitment and retention, invest in ongoing education and training, and adapt to emerging trends such as technological integration and person-centered care.

Individuals considering careers in senior living have the chance to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the elderly population. Whether in clinical or non-clinical roles, professionals in senior living contribute to the well-being and quality of life of older adults, making it a rewarding and vital sector within the broader healthcare industry. As the industry evolves, staying attuned to emerging trends and acquiring relevant skills will be key to thriving in the dynamic senior living job market.

The Ongoing Shortage of LVNs/LPNs in the United States: Causes and Consequences

By: CareerBoardNetwork writers

The United States has been grappling with an ongoing shortage of Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) for several years. This deficit in the healthcare workforce is a multifaceted issue that has raised concerns among healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public alike. In this article, we will delve into the causes and consequences of the LVN/LPN shortage in the US.

Causes of the LVN/LPN Shortage

  1. Demographic Shifts: One of the primary drivers of the LVN/LPN shortage is the aging US population. As the baby boomer generation ages, there is a heightened demand for healthcare services, particularly in long-term care and home health settings. LVNs and LPNs play crucial roles in providing care to elderly patients, contributing to the heightened demand for their services.
  2. Educational Challenges: Limited capacity in nursing schools is a significant hurdle in addressing the shortage. Many aspiring nurses face difficulties securing spots in nursing programs due to high competition and insufficient resources in educational institutions. Additionally, the shortage extends to nursing faculty, making it challenging to educate and train the next generation of nursing professionals.
  3. Workplace Conditions: Working as an LVN or LPN can be physically and emotionally demanding. Long hours, understaffing, and high-stress environments can lead to burnout, causing some nurses to leave the profession or opt for alternative career paths. Improving working conditions and providing adequate support is crucial for retaining LVNs and LPNs.
  4. Geographic Disparities: The shortage is not evenly distributed across the country. Rural and underserved areas often face more acute shortages due to challenges in attracting and retaining healthcare professionals. This geographic variation can result in unequal access to healthcare services, exacerbating health disparities.

Consequences of the LVN/LPN Shortage

  1. Increased Workload: Nurses, including LVNs and LPNs, who remain in the profession often experience heavier workloads, leading to fatigue and decreased job satisfaction. This can compromise patient care quality and safety.
  2. Higher Healthcare Costs: Staffing shortages can lead to increased healthcare costs as facilities struggle to meet patient needs. This can result in longer hospital stays, readmissions, and higher expenses for patients and healthcare systems.
  3. Limited Access to Care: Patients in underserved areas may face barriers to accessing healthcare services due to the scarcity of LVNs and LPNs. This can lead to delayed or inadequate care, impacting patient outcomes.
  4. Innovations in Care Delivery: The shortage has prompted healthcare organizations to explore innovative solutions, such as telehealth and nurse delegation models, to optimize the use of available nursing resources. While these innovations can help address gaps in care, they also come with their own challenges and limitations.

Addressing the LVN/LPN Shortage

Addressing the shortage of LVNs and LPNs requires a coordinated effort from multiple stakeholders. Some potential solutions include:

  1. Increasing Educational Capacity: Expanding nursing education programs and addressing faculty shortages can help produce more LVNs and LPNs to meet the growing demand.
  2. Improving Workplace Conditions: Healthcare organizations must prioritize creating supportive work environments, offering competitive salaries, and addressing nurse burnout to retain existing staff.
  3. Policy Initiatives: Policymakers can implement policies to incentivize nursing practice in underserved areas and support initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in the nursing workforce.
  4. Innovative Care Models: Embracing telehealth and task delegation models, while maintaining quality and safety, can help optimize the use of available nursing resources.

In conclusion, the shortage of LVNs and LPNs in the United States is a complex issue with far-reaching implications for healthcare delivery. Demographic shifts, educational challenges, workplace conditions, and geographic disparities all contribute to this shortage. Addressing the issue will require a multifaceted approach that involves collaboration between educational institutions, healthcare organizations, policymakers, and nursing professionals. By implementing strategic solutions, the US can work toward ensuring that patients receive the high-quality care they deserve, regardless of their geographic location or healthcare setting.

Employee Shortage in Senior Living: A Growing Crisis

By CareerBoardNetwork writers

The senior living industry, responsible for caring for our aging population, is facing an alarming and persistent challenge: an acute shortage of employees. This crisis is jeopardizing the quality of care provided to seniors and putting immense pressure on facilities, staff, and families. In this essay, we will explore the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to the employee shortage crisis in senior living.

One of the primary causes of the employee shortage in senior living is the rapid aging of the population. As the baby boomer generation enters their golden years, the demand for senior living services has surged. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65. This demographic shift has created an unprecedented demand for caregivers, nurses, administrators, and other professionals in senior living facilities.

Another contributing factor to the employee shortage is the high turnover rate in the industry. Caring for seniors can be emotionally and physically demanding work. Staff often face challenging situations, including dealing with dementia, end-of-life care, and managing the health and well-being of residents. Burnout and compassion fatigue are common, leading many employees to seek less demanding roles in other industries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the employee shortage crisis in senior living. The fear of infection, personal protective equipment shortages, and high stress levels have driven some employees to leave the industry, further depleting an already understaffed workforce.

The consequences of this employee shortage are far-reaching and concerning. Firstly, it affects the quality of care provided to seniors. Short-staffed facilities struggle to meet the physical, emotional, and medical needs of residents. Overworked staff may have less time for meaningful interactions with residents, impacting their overall well-being and happiness.

Moreover, the shortage places enormous stress on the existing workforce. Overburdened employees are more prone to burnout and may experience decreased job satisfaction, which can create a negative cycle of further staff turnover. This, in turn, harms the financial stability and reputation of senior living facilities.

Family members of seniors in care facilities also suffer the consequences of the employee shortage. They worry about the quality of care their loved ones receive, leading to increased stress and anxiety. Many families are forced to take on caregiving responsibilities themselves, disrupting their own lives and careers.

Finding solutions to the employee shortage crisis in senior living is imperative. One approach is to invest in workforce development and training programs. By offering competitive salaries, benefits, and opportunities for advancement, the industry can attract and retain skilled professionals. Additionally, offering educational incentives and scholarships can help address the skills gap.

Technology can also play a significant role in mitigating the shortage. Automation and robotics can assist with tasks such as medication management and routine checks, reducing the workload on human staff. Telehealth services can connect seniors with healthcare providers remotely, minimizing the need for on-site medical personnel.

Collaboration between senior living facilities, governments, and educational institutions is crucial. Public policies that support the recruitment and training of caregivers and nurses can help alleviate the shortage. Furthermore, partnerships with schools and colleges can create pipelines of qualified individuals entering the field.

In conclusion, the employee shortage crisis in senior living is a pressing issue that demands immediate attention and action. The aging population, high turnover rates, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to this crisis. The consequences are detrimental to seniors, families, and the industry as a whole. However, through investment in workforce development, technology adoption, and collaboration, it is possible to address this challenge and ensure that our aging population receives the care and support they deserve. The future of senior living depends on our collective commitment to finding innovative solutions to this critical issue.

Covid-19 News Update for Seniors

Written by: CareerBoardNetwork

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges and disruptions to our lives, especially for our senior citizens. As we navigate through this ongoing crisis, it is crucial for seniors to stay informed about the latest developments surrounding the virus. This update aims to provide valuable information regarding the current state of the pandemic, vaccination efforts, and tips for seniors to stay safe and healthy.

Current State of the Pandemic:

As of the latest available information (September 2021), Covid-19 remains a global health concern. New variants of the virus have emerged, making it essential for seniors and the general population to remain cautious. The virus has not been completely eradicated, and its impact continues to vary from region to region.

Vaccination Efforts:

Vaccination has proven to be one of the most effective tools in the fight against Covid-19. Seniors were among the first groups prioritized for vaccination due to their increased vulnerability to severe illness. By September 2021, vaccines were widely available in many countries, offering protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Seniors who have not yet been vaccinated should consider doing so promptly. It’s also important to stay updated on booster shot recommendations, as immunity may wane over time, particularly for those who received their initial vaccinations earlier in the year.

Health and Safety Tips for Seniors:

  1. Follow Public Health Guidelines: Continue to follow the guidelines provided by health authorities in your area. These guidelines may include wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and avoiding crowded places.
  2. Hand Hygiene: Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are also effective when soap and water are not available.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest Covid-19 updates from reputable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and your local health department.
  4. Maintain Social Connections: While physical distancing is important, it’s equally crucial to maintain social connections. Stay in touch with loved ones through phone calls, video chats, or socially distant outdoor visits.
  5. Prioritize Mental Health: The pandemic’s social isolation and uncertainty can take a toll on mental health. Don’t hesitate to seek support from mental health professionals if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
  6. Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity, even if it’s at home. Exercise can boost your immune system and help maintain overall health.
  7. Diet and Nutrition: Focus on a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support your immune system. Consult with a healthcare provider about any specific dietary needs.
  8. Medication Management: Ensure that you have an adequate supply of any prescription medications you need and that you are taking them as prescribed. Telehealth appointments can help you manage your healthcare needs.
  9. Flu Shot: Get an annual flu shot to protect against influenza, which can weaken your immune system and increase your susceptibility to other illnesses, including Covid-19.
  10. Travel Safely: If you must travel, research the Covid-19 safety measures in place at your destination, and follow all recommended precautions during your journey.

In conclusion, while the Covid-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for seniors, staying informed and following safety guidelines can help mitigate the risks. Vaccination remains a critical tool in our fight against the virus, and seniors are encouraged to get vaccinated and consider booster shots when recommended. By taking precautions, staying connected, and prioritizing both physical and mental health, seniors can better navigate these uncertain times and protect their well-being. Remember, we are all in this together, and together, we will overcome this challenge.

Elderly Employment Increasing

By: CareerBoardNetwork

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the job market—a trend that is challenging long-held stereotypes and reshaping societal norms. This transformation can be encapsulated in the phrase “Elderly Employment Increasing.” Indeed, across the globe, the elderly workforce is growing at an unprecedented rate, defying conventional retirement age expectations and bringing with it a myriad of implications and opportunities.

This phenomenon is driven by a convergence of factors, each contributing to the surge in elderly employment. Firstly, demographics play a pivotal role. The world’s population is aging, with a significant increase in the number of individuals reaching retirement age. However, many of these retirees are healthier, more active, and possess a wealth of experience that remains untapped. Consequently, the elderly workforce is now seen as a valuable resource, contributing their wisdom and expertise to various industries.

Another factor is economic necessity. As the cost of living continues to rise, many elderly individuals find themselves facing financial challenges that require them to extend their working years. Inadequate retirement savings and the need to support themselves or their families drive them to seek employment opportunities well beyond traditional retirement ages.

Furthermore, technological advancements have opened up new avenues for elderly employment. With the advent of remote work and the digitization of many industries, elderly individuals can access job opportunities that are flexible, accommodating their needs and preferences. This shift towards remote work has, in particular, enabled elderly professionals to participate in the workforce on their own terms.

One of the most significant benefits of increasing elderly employment is the wealth of experience and knowledge they bring to the table. These individuals have decades of expertise in various fields, making them invaluable assets to companies seeking seasoned professionals. Their presence in the workplace fosters a culture of mentorship and knowledge transfer, benefiting younger generations of workers.

Moreover, elderly employment helps address a prevalent issue—ageism in the workplace. By actively hiring and promoting elderly individuals, organizations can counteract age-related discrimination and promote a more inclusive work environment. This shift not only enhances diversity but also challenges harmful stereotypes about aging and productivity.

Elderly employment is not limited to traditional roles. Many retirees are venturing into entrepreneurship and starting their businesses, leveraging their experience, networks, and financial resources. This trend not only adds economic value but also demonstrates that innovation knows no age boundaries.

Despite the numerous advantages of elderly employment, challenges persist. Age-related health issues can affect an individual’s ability to work effectively, necessitating accommodations and support systems. Additionally, employers may need to adapt their policies to cater to the unique needs of elderly workers, such as flexible working hours or ergonomic adjustments.

In conclusion, the rise in elderly employment represents a significant societal shift with far-reaching implications. It challenges conventional notions of retirement, fosters intergenerational collaboration, and enriches the workforce with experience and wisdom. As the trend continues, it is essential for society and employers to recognize and embrace the value of elderly workers while ensuring they are provided with the necessary support and accommodations to thrive in the modern workplace. Ultimately, the increasing participation of elderly individuals in the workforce is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of human potential across all stages of life.

Oakmont Senior Care In Santa Clarita Serves Adults With Alzheimer’s And Dementia

Oakmont Senior Care In Santa Clarita Serves Adults With Alzheimer’s And Dementia

Oakmont Senior Care In Santa Clarita Provides The Assisted Living And Memory Care Your Loved Ones Deserve.

When a family member begins showing the signs of memory loss dementia or Alzheimer’s it can put a strain on families.

The cost for in-home care can be exponential and invasive, and providing the care yourself can be both physically and mentally taxing on family members. Oakmont Senior Care in Santa Clarita is an industry leader in retirement living and memory care services.

With endless amenities, daily activities, and gourmet dining, Oakmont Senior Care provides you loved ones with the care and attention they need to continue living a healthy and happy life.

“Oakmont Senior Living is a recognized leader in the retirement industry,” their company website reads. “Caring for over 4,500 seniors across 51 communities in California and Nevada, Oakmont operates with a passion for excellence, integrity, and high standards of service in our communities.”

Memory Care

If your loved one is in the early stages of dementia or more advanced cognitive changes, Oakmont Senior Living has specially trained team members to provide quality care.

Related Oakmont Of Santa Clarita Is A Retirement Community That Acts Like A Luxury Resort

Oakmont Senior Living is committed to keeping your loved ones living a joyful, vibrant, and engaged life, no matter how early or advanced their condition.

Licensed full time nurses specifically chosen for their skills will help to make the transition easy and joyful. Nurses are available 24 hours a day equipped with specialized dementia education, training, and routine evaluations that will provide your loved ones with the care and compassion they deserve.

Oakmont Senior Living also realizes how important routine and regularity is for those with memory loss. The organization is committed to providing your loved ones with a safe and familiar environment.

Oakmont offers easily accessible surroundings so residents can navigate their way around the community and maintain a sense of independence, boosting their self-esteem and helping to decrease their anxiety.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please visit their website at


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Oakmont Senior Care In Santa Clarita Serves Adults With Alzheimer’s And Dementia

President Biden’s Agenda for Older Americans

Administration plans to pursue a wide range of post-pandemic goals

The White House

En español | Joe Biden began his presidency in January with a promise to focus like a laser on getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control and put the economy back on track. With the coronavirus hitting older Americans the hardest, Biden’s emphasis on beating back the pandemic zeroes in on a key concern for older Americans, especially those in nursing homes.

A review of dozens of position statements made during his campaign, along with his initial wave of executive orders and early indications of his legislative agenda, reveals how he might tackle some of the other topics critical to the 50-plus population.

Biden “certainly talked about a lot of the issues hugely important to us and our constituency in the campaign,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “But job one is COVID, and job two is the economic package.” So LeaMond’s advice for those hoping that the new president acts on other issues of importance to Americans 50-plus is to “be patient” until the pandemic is under control.

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Here’s a look at the president’s 50-plus agenda. Note that to execute most of his goals, Biden will need Congress to pass legislation.

Medicare/prescription drugs

  • Ask Congress to lower the age of Medicare eligibility to 60, reflecting the difficulty many older Americans face in getting jobs, even after the pandemic and economic crisis begin to ease.
  • Push Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription prices so it can leverage its buying power to lower the cost of medications.
  • Create a tax penalty for drugmakers that raise prices above the general inflation rate.
  • Allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the federal government says they are safe.

Health care access

  • Ask Congress to expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by creating a voluntary “public option” health program, patterned after Medicare.
  • Allow low-income residents of states that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA to get premium-free access to this new public-option program.
  • Ensure that no family’s medical insurance premiums would be more than 8.5 percent of their income.
  • Increase eligibility for ACA marketplace subsidies by eliminating the income cap at 400 percent of poverty income.

Social Security

  • Beneficiaries who have been collecting Social Security for at least 20 years would get a higher monthly benefit to help protect them from lapsing into poverty as their retirement savings decline.
  • Benefits for retirees who have worked for 30 years would be at least 125 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • For many couples, when one partner dies, Social Security income may be cut in half. Biden’s plan would allow the surviving spouse to keep a greater share of the benefits.

Saving for retirement

  • Encourage more workplace savings plans by giving a tax break to small businesses to offset the costs of starting such plans.
  • Remove penalties for caregivers who want to save for retirement but have paused working by allowing them to make “catch-up” contributions to their existing retirement accounts, even if they are not employed in a wage-earning job.

Age discrimination


  • Allocate $450 billion over 10 years to enable Medicaid recipients to be cared for at home or in the community, rather than in a residential facility. This plan would eliminate the waiting lists for in-home and community-based care.
  • Support family caregivers through a $5,000 tax credit.

Nursing homes

  • Require an infectious-disease specialist in every regulated long-term care facility.
  • Ensure adequate staffing levels in nursing homes.
  • Increase the oversight of nursing homes, including inspections and data collection, and restore penalties for noncompliance with quality standards.

Dena Bunis covers Medicare, health care, health policy and Congress. She also writes the Medicare Made Easy column for the AARP Bulletin. An award-winning journalist, Bunis spent decades working for metropolitan daily newspapers, including as Washington bureau chief for the Orange County Register and as a health policy and workplace writer for Newsday.


Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Retirement Communities and Independent Living Facilities (Interim Guidance)

Many people living in retirement communities and independent living facilities (ILF) are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 because they

  • Are older adults and/or
  • Have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

A retirement community or independent living facility is a residential or housing community that is usually age-restricted (e.g., aged 55 and older) with residents who are partially or fully retired and can generally care for themselves without regular nursing or other routine medical assistance.   Communal facilities, community activities, meals, transportation, and socialization opportunities may be provided.  Different types of independent housing with support services for older adults include:

  • Public housing for low- to-moderate income elderly
  • Assisted living homes that do not provide medical services
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities, which include a range of housing options including independent living.

Who is this guidance for?

This guidance is for owners, administrators, operators, workers, volunteers, visitors, and residents of retirement communities and ILF that are not healthcare facilities. Guidance for long-term care facilities (LTCF) that offer medical services, i.e., nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and adult day care programs to older adults can be found here.

Additionally, a checklistpdf icon is available for use by long-term care facilities and assisted living facilities to assess and improve their preparedness for responding to COVID-19. Retirement communities and ILF can adapt this checklist to meet their needs and circumstances.

Information relevant to retirement communities and ILF can also be found in guidance documents  for older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions and for community-based organizations.

Why is this guidance being issued?

COVID-19 is being increasingly reported in communities across the United States. It is likely that the novel coronavirus is circulating in most communities even if cases have not yet been reported. Residents in retirement communities and ILF are considered to be at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes because of older age and because they may have underlying health conditions, such as chronic heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease. They also may be at higher risk of getting and spreading the virus because of community characteristics, such as frequent social activities, and shared dining facilities and communal spaces. Guidance specific to retirement and independent living communities can help the residents, and those who help serve them, slow the spread of the virus and prevent serious illness.

This guidance takes into account that residents in retirement communities generally care for themselves. Retirement communities and ILF can also consider adopting the more stringent recommendations for long-term care facilities or nursing homes, especially if they are a continuing care retirement community that includes a long-term care facility.  Either way, retirement community and ILF owners, administrators, or operators have an important role, working together with residents, workers, volunteers, and the local health departments in slowing the spread of diseases and helping ensure residents are safe.

What owners, operators, or administrators can do:

Owners, administrators, operators and can help slow the spreading of the virus and prevent severe illness within communities by following the guidance below.

Cancel all public or non-essential group activities and events.

For essential group activities that cannot be canceled, implementing the following social distancing measures can help:

  • Alter schedules to reduce mixing (e.g., stagger meal, activity, arrival/departure times)
  • Limit programs with external staff
  • Limit the number of attendees at a given time to fewer than ten people and ask participants to maintain a distance of at least six feet from one another.
  • Place chairs and tables at least 6 feet apart during communal dining or similar events.

Because canceling social interaction may increase risk of adverse mental health outcomes, particularly during a stressful event of a disease outbreak, administrators can provide information to help  support residents in managing stress and anxiety during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Clean and disinfect all common areas and shared facilities.

  • Clean and disinfect common spaces daily
  • Give special attention to high-touch surfaces, including, but not limited to, door handles, faucets, toilet handles, light switches, elevator buttons, handrails, countertops, chairs, tables, remote controls, shared electronic equipment, and shared exercise equipment.
  • Ensure staff follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, necessary personal protective equipment, etc.). A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available hereexternal iconexternal icon.

Inform residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors about COVID-19.

Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and ensuring that residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors are aware of the symptoms of COVID-19, health conditions that may put them at higher risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19, its health risks, and what to do if they become ill can make an outbreak less stressful and help prevent or slow the spread of disease.

Administrators can support residents who have no or limited access to the internet by

  • Delivering print materials to their residences. Printable materials for community-based settings are available on the CDC website.
  • Providing easy to understand handouts and high-visibility posters in high-traffic locations.
  • Ensuring educational materials and information are provided for non-English speakers and low literacy persons.

Encourage personal protective measures

Workers, contractors (such as barbers, hairdressers, sitters, and housekeepers), and volunteers providing care in multiple homes or facilities can serve as a source of coronavirus transmission between residences in these facilities. These persons should be advised to limit the number of people they interact with who are at higherrisk of serious complications from COVID-19, and retain distance of >6 feet when interacting.

Help residents establish a “buddy” system to ensure they stay connected.

Owners, administrators, and operators of retirement communities and ILF may want to identify residents who have unique medical needs (including behavioral health needs), and access and functional needs to encourage them to develop a plan if they or their primary caretaker(s) become ill.

They can assist in finding volunteers to assist residents who may need extra assistance in getting the medical help they need and train these volunteers in following personal protective measures. These volunteers should not be persons who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Volunteers can also consider checking up on residents via electronic means if appropriate.

Consider limiting the number of non-essential visitors.

Retirement communities and ILF may want to consider limiting visitation (e.g., maximum of one visitor per resident per day, restricting visitors with recent travel and those with symptoms of COVID-19), especially in common areas, to workers, volunteers, and visitors who are essential to preserving the health, including mental health, well-being, and safety of residents. Advise persons that maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet) can help reduce coronavirus transmission.

Screen, when possible, and advise workers and essential volunteers.

When possible, administrators may want to consider screening workers and essential volunteers who will be interacting with residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. This includes actively taking each person’s temperature using a no-touch thermometer, and asking whether or not the person is experiencing shortness of breath or has a cough. They should be advised that if they develop fever or symptoms of respiratory infection while at work, they should immediately put on a facemask, inform their supervisor, and leave the workplace.

Follow guidance for businesses and employers

This guidance also can be helpful for owners, administrators, and operators of retirement communities and ILF and is found here. It includes:

  • Actively encouraging sick employees to stay home
  • Implementing flexible sick-leave policies and to the extent possible flexible attendance policies (e.g., telework, staggered shifts)
  • Emphasizing respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Ensuring hand hygiene supplies are readily available in all buildings.

What residents can do:

Residents can follow the recommendations for persons at higher-risk of COVID-19 to protect themselves and others:

Residents can follow the recommendations for persons at higher-risk of COVID-19 to protect themselves and others:

  • Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place/common area.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.

Additionally, they can avoid close contact:

  • Stay in your homes or outdoors away from groups of people, as much as possible.
  • Limit visitors to persons essential to maintaining their health, well-being, and safety. Social interaction is important; however, in-person social interactions are associated with increased risk of infection.
  • Learn and practice alternative ways to interact, including replacing in-person group interactions with video or telephone calls.
  • Learn more about managing stress and anxiety during COVID-19.

Establish a “buddy” system to ensure they stay connected.

Residents can seek out a “buddy” who will regularly check on them (using preferably non-face-to-face communication) and help care for them if they get sick. This person cannot be a person who is at higher risk of complications if they become ill with COVID-19.

Ensure continuity of the regular care and medical services they receive.

Residents can work with their primary caretakers to identify alternative caretakers to ensure continuity of care should there be any interruptions to the regular services they receive. Telemedicine services may be available to them. They can work with their medical providers to determine if any elective procedures or non-emergent services can be delayed without negatively impacting their health. They can ask their medical providers if they have a formal “telehealth” system for their regular appointments and, if not, ask if they can still communicate by telephone (instead of visits) to reduce the number of face-to-face interactions.

Have medication and supplies on hand.

Residents may want to consult with their healthcare providers and, if possible, plan to keep an extra supply of their regular prescriptions. Mail-order medications also could be considered as an alternative for those unable to get longer supplies of medication. They can ensure that they have an adequate supply of food and everyday essentials in their homes should a disruption occur for an extended period.

Keep their homes clean and disinfected.

It is important that residents keep their homes clean and disinfected by following these instructions. If they become ill or if they are caring for someone who is ill, they can follow the guidance found here.

What volunteers and visitors can do:

There are many ways volunteer or visitors can reduce the spread of illness:

Avoid entering the facility, the premises, or private residences unless your presence is essential to preserving the health, including mental health, well-being, and safety of residents.

Follow personal protective measures found here and the recommendations set forth by the facility they are visiting.

Maintain social distance of at least six feet from residents can reduce transmission. Do not visit if you recently had contact with persons who have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you recently traveled. Most importantly, do not enter the retirement community or ILF if you are sick.

Avoid large groups and travel, especially on planes and cruise ships.

If you, as a volunteer, regularly visit the retirement community and ILF, consider taking greater precaution to protect the residents because they are higher-risk persons. These precautions include avoiding large group gatherings and crowds, delaying non-essential travel including plane trips, and avoiding embarking on cruise ships. Volunteers and visitors who have recently traveled should avoid visiting the retirement community and ILF.

Watch for symptoms of illness and follow the recommended steps if you get sick.

If you develop respiratory illness symptoms while at the retirement community or ILF, immediately put on a facemask when possible, leave if possible, self-isolate, and notify the residents you visited and administrators. If you were there with a volunteer organization, notify the organization. Additional guidance on what you can do if you get sick can be found here.

What workers can do:

As a worker, you can follow the same recommendations as for volunteers and visitors, plus:

Follow standard infection prevention and control practices, basic personal protective recommendations and any other site- and task-specific infection prevention and control measures implemented by their employer.

Maintain social distance of at least six feet from residents whenever possible. Outside of work, avoid contact with persons who have symptoms of COVID-19.

Watch for symptoms of illness and follow the recommended steps if you get sick.

Stay home if you are sick and notify your supervisors if you become sick outside of work hours. If you become sick while at the facility or on the premises, put on a facemask, leave immediately, and notify your supervisor. Additional guidance on what you can do if you get sick can be found here.

When a case has been confirmed in the retirement facility or ILF

If a person with COVID-19 resides in or recently has been to a retirement community or ILF, CDC recommends the following additional measures:

Owners, administrators and operators can take the following additional measures to help prevent or slow further spread of COVID-19:

Coordinate with local health officials.

  • Upon learning that a resident, worker, volunteer, or visitor of the retirement community or the ILF has COVID-19, ask the person to self-isolate and contact local health officials.
  • Notify the local health department about any clusters of residents or workers with respiratory illness (e.g., 3 or more persons with onset of respiratory symptoms within 72 hours).

Local health officials will help determine the appropriate course of action for risk assessment and public health management in the facility or community.

Communicate with residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors.

In coordination with local health officials, communicate the possible COVID-19 exposure to all residents and workers, volunteers, and visitors. This can be done by placing signage in common areas and entrances/exists and by letter to all residents. Residents could be advised to inform their recent personal visitors of potential exposure.

  • Maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA.
  • Messages should attempt to counter potential stigma and discrimination

Ask residents to self-monitor for 14 days and take action, if sick.

Self-monitoring means a person takes his/her temperature twice a day and pays attention to cough or difficulty breathing. If a resident feels feverish or their temperature is 100.4°F/38°C or higher, they have a cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, the following actions will help prevent spreading further illness:

Clean and disinfect thoroughly. Additional information on cleaning and disinfection of community facilities can be found on CDC’s website.

Interactions with pets advantageous for aging adults

Though interactions with animals, in general, can impact a senior, if choosing to keep one in the home or senior facility, Besser said seniors should consider what kind of animal would be best suited to their lifestyle.

“There are several factors to consider when deciding what type of pet or animal companion to choose for a senior. One should take into account a senior’s personality and physical ability,” she stated. “Cats are more independent and relaxed, while dogs are more social and can be physically demanding. It’s hard when you like and can handle both. So, it’s best to research what animal would best suit a senior’s needs, lifestyle and commitment level. The same would apply when choosing a family pet.”

But if a senior isn’t in a situation where they can keep a full-time pet, the professionals said they could always connect with therapy pet programs. Seniors can also get their pets certified as therapy animals, which can teach them skills to sense if something is wrong with their owner.

“Pet therapy is an opportunity for specially trained animals to become certified as therapy pets,” Lookabill noted. “They are used to being petted by a lot of people, getting their ears pulled and knowing what to do to help someone feel calm and comfortable.”

Besser said when trying to certify a family pet as a therapy animal, depending on the association, the pet will go through compatibility testing and training to be certified. Pets have to be at least a year old, and the process takes about six to 12 months to complete.

Lookabill added therapy pets can be a multitude of species, especially if they are in an established program.

“They can include pigs, horses, llamas and large birds,” she explained. “Communities have to be diligent in helping ensure that therapy pets are certified, up to dates with shots and insured.”