“As in the nursing home study, we also see that assisted living communities with more minority residents have more cases, and we confirm that communities with a higher proportion of residents with dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and obesity, experienced more COVID-19 cases,” Temkin-Greener said.
In nursing homes and assisted living communities, minorities suffer most from Covid-19, research says | Health & Fitness
Those findings were based on data from seven of 13 states that publicly reported Covid-19 data from nursing homes and residential care settings through May 29, 2020.
Communities need ‘same attention’ as nursing homes
Unlike nursing homes, assisted living communities are not subject to federal regulation; they are regulated by the states “with varying degrees of rigor,” Temkin-Greener said.
Several factors leave them “ill prepared” to deal with a pandemic, the study found.
For example, assisted living communities are often financially challenged, care for increasingly sick residents, operate under limited oversight, and experience staff and PPE shortages. The workers providing daily care are often personal care aides rather than certified nursing assistants or registered nurses, and receive little if any training in the use of PPE, according to the study.
Nursing homes have recently been mandated to collect and report data on Covid-19, including cases and deaths, to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services However, there is no such system for assisted living communities, researchers said.