More than 80% senior living providers are allowing staff members to work from home when possible, according to a Ziegler survey of almost 225 senior living financial leaders. In addition, almost half of operators are allowing staff members to work flexible schedules and also are providing free meals and bonus pay during the pandemic.

Some respondents also reported that they have offered to pay for hotel rooms for staff members who are concerned about going home if they live with someone who has a chronic illness or would be significantly affected if they caught the virus. Others have set up grocery stores or food pantries for employees and have given away free toilet paper.

| Operators cope with staffing issues by paying overtime, having managers fill in |

Overall, however, survey responses suggest that many operators are taking things one day as a time while also trying to look ahead to the future as much as possible.

“Our main goal is to preserve cash as much as possible while recognizing that our staff are working under extraordinary circumstances,” said one respondent. “We’re trying to find a balance between ‘new normal’ and ‘COVID pandemic,’ and asking ourselves if this could be our new normal, and what precedent do we want to set if it is.”

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