NIC Notes

Insights in Seniors Housing & Care


By: Ryan Brooks  |  October 26, 2021

COVID-19 Discussions with Senior Housing and Care Operators

COVID-19  |  Ideas and Discussion  |  Senior Housing  |  Skilled Nursing  |  Workforce

In March and April of 2021, researchers from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) and the nonpartisan and objective research organization, NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC). spoke with a dozen senior housing and care operators about their experiences, challenges, and successes throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency during 2020. Discussion topics included workflow changes implemented in response to various state and federal requirements, testing strategies employed, PPE access, challenges with dementia care residents, interventions to address loneliness and social isolation, and efforts to vaccinate residents and staff.

“The collaboration and creativity between departments and team members was probably the silver lining of all of this. It knocked down a lot of silos.”

These qualitative interviews come from senior housing and care operators located in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Operators ranged in size from just a few properties to several hundred and included both for-profit and not-for profit status, freestanding and mixed-use properties, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), aka Life Plan Communities. These interviews supported the quantitative analysis on COVID-19 mortality rates by care setting and allowed the research teams to better understand the context of the COVID-19 death data as well as the challenges they faced throughout the various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health emergency.


The predominant theme from the interviews is that senior housing and care operators were incredibly agile and dedicated through the pandemic and worked 24/7 to keep residents safe while continuing to compassionately care for residents. NIC has published a selection of stories and quotes from our series of interviews to highlight the efforts that operators have successfully made to protect, safeguard, and maintain engagement with their residents and staff. Read the full white paper.

About Ryan Brooks

Senior Principal Ryan Brooks works with the research team in providing research, analysis, and contributions in the areas of healthcare collaboration and partnerships, telemedicine implementation, EHR optimization, and value-based care transition. Prior to joining NIC, he served as Clinical Administrator for multiple service lines within the Johns Hopkins Health System, where he focused on patient throughput strategies, regulatory compliance, and lean deployment throughout the organization. Brooks received his Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration from James Madison University and his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

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