Specialized Information for:

Nursing HomesAssisted Living/Board & Care Home and Community Based Services

COVID-19 General Tips for Prevention, Communication, and Self-Care

COVID-19 Home


General Tips for Prevention

Review these resources to help stop the spread:

Remind staff and volunteers to contact their supervisor and/or State Ombudsman if they are sick. Recommend that they contact their healthcare provider if they are sick for medical advice.

Advise staff and volunteers to monitor for symptoms and contact their healthcare provider for advice if they have symptoms and/or want to be tested.


Communicating with Residents, Families, Long-Term Care Facility Staff, and Others




Tips for Ombudsman Program Communication with Residents, Long-Term Care Facilities, Families, and the Public During COVID-19



Ombudsman Program Communication and Advocacy During COVID-19 Webinar (June 23, 2020) 

Review the FAQs and memo from ACL for additional information for Ombudsman programs.

  • Ombudsman programs are to serve as a resource and refer individuals to appropriate public health entities, not attempt to answer specific questions about COVID-19.
  • Share information from the CDC with facilities and others by phone, email, mail, social media, and program websites.
  • During the quarantine, communication can occur by other means such as phone, email, video conferencing with individual residents, Resident Council leadership, staff, and families.
  • Obtain resident census lists, contact information for resident representatives, and contact information for Resident and Family Council leadership. If possible, identify 2-3 residents in each facility and establish regular calls/emails/videocalls to check in.
    • Ask if residents have access to a computer, tablet or a smart phone, and if they are interested in video chats or conferences. Confirm with your host agency if video chats and conferences can be an option to communicate with residents, families, and others.
    • Ask residents if they have email addresses and if they would like to receive email updates or correspond through email.
    • Ask residents if they prefer that you contact a representative for ongoing communication.
  • Post Ombudsman program contact information on front door. Make brochures available outside by the front door, if practical.
    • Send business cards and program brochures to long-term care facilities to share with residents, family members, and others. NORC created a free postcard template in three downloadable options, including one with space to customize with program contact information. 
  • Encourage facility staff to distribute your email address as an alternate way to communicate with residents and family members or legal representatives. You may experience higher call volume due to COVID-19 and email may allow a shorter response time.
  • Provide information regarding visitation restrictions from the recent CMS guidance and how to contact your program on your program’s website, via email, e-newsletters, and social media. 


Examples of Communication with Residents and Family Members


Examples of Communication with Long-Term Care Facility Staff


Self-Care Resources




Fact Sheet on Taking Care of You 




Four-Part Webinar Series - COVID-19 and Ombudsman Programs: Understanding How Trauma Impacts You, Residents, and Your Advocacy
In partnership with the Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, Consumer Voice and NORC offered a four-part webinar series regarding the impact of trauma due to the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care residents and Ombudsman programs. The webinar series highlighted important themes related to trauma-informed care, person-centered care, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. The series included case studies, self-reflection activities and exercises, and materials for attendees. 

Consumer Voice Fact Sheets on Taking Care of You: Tips for Residents and Tips for the Family Caregiver









SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline Toll-Free: 1-800-985-5990 (English and español)

SMS: Text TalkWithUs to 66746 SMS (español): “Hablanos” al 66746 TTY: 1-800-846-8517
Website: (English) (Spanish)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline Toll-Free: 1-800-662-HELP (24/7/365 Treatment Referral Information Service in English and español) 
Website:  (English)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Toll-Free (English): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Toll-Free (español): 1-888-628-9454 TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
Website: (English) (Spanish)

COVID Coach Mobile App

Tips from a Mental Health Practitioner

What to Do in These Stressful Times: A Blog by Susan Wehry, MD

Free Online Class from Yale: The Science of Well-Being

The American Red Cross is Offering Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19 Online Course