Frontlines of COVID-19

April 14, 2020 / Care, COVID-19, Families, In the News

Voices from the Frontline
Findings from COVID-19 surveys conducted in April 2020
Activated Insights has offered complimentary COVID-19 surveys to senior care providers around the country as a way to hear what their employees are thinking and needing.
Between April 1-14, 2020, 1,812 frontline staff members of senior living communities were asked for their perspectives and feedback. Below are the findings. We will update this page as 2,000+ more employees respond through the end of April.
40% report financial hardships
A significant number (40%) of employees report experiencing financial hardship due to the novel coronavirus. Several reasons emerge for this finding.
First, family members and significant others are being laid off or have hours reduced. Examples cited include these quotes from employee comments:
  • My sister was laid off and now can’t find a job so I’ve been forced to handle all the bills alone and I’m struggling
  • My fiancé is laid off so my income is the only one for the whole household
  • My husband is out of work. We are ok right now. But, what about next month??
Secondly, childcare and more mouths to feed mean increased grocery bills. Example comments include:
  • It’s hard to find food. I have three boys who are no longer going to school
  • Since my kids are out of school I now have to pay daycare for 4 children. So it’s now making it hard to have the money to try and buy food since everyone has been panic buying. So the extra money I have had is gone due to having to pay more for daycare
Lastly, many frontline staff mention the difficulty in needing to buy extra supplies. Example quotes include:
  • Needing to stock up on items for 2-4 weeks puts strain on my finances
Employees need the basics – of daily life and protective supplies
While many employees express gratitude for having a job and their employer being proactive in COVID-19 prevention for the workplace, employees are open about their struggles to find and afford supplies for their families.
Approximately two-thirds of requests from frontline staff include the essentials of daily life that are difficult to find in today’s economy – including toilet paper, eggs, milk, bread and meats. Comments include:
  • I cannot find toilet paper or cleaning supplies anywhere
  • I have some things now – but worry if this extends longer than expected which signs point yes then go to restock simple things like eggs milk toliet (sic) paper are hard to get sometimes
  • Food, Toilet paper
Of the direct caregiving staff (nurses and nursing assistants), over half request more masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers. All of these supplies are low across all of healthcare, but this senior care sector has not been prioritized yet (with policymakers first trying to help equip physicians and nurses in hospitals). Comments include:
  • We have basic masks but are we prepared with enough N95 masks
  • Need face masks and wish we could get tests
  • More mask (sic), gloves and hand sanitizers
  • Having the proper ppe..enough gloves, masks ,disinfecting wipes
Overall, a feeling of gratitude from the frontlines of senior care
Just as this industry is one who cares for our country’s most vulnerable population, the frontline staff have overwhelmingly express appreciation in the surveys so far, including:
  • It means the world to me that during this scary/uncertain time I don’t have to worry about losing my source of income 
  • THANK YOU for jumping ahead, planning and all of your efforts to keep us safe and happy. The daily calls to ED and AED, the constant emails, information sheets, measures in place, emergency supplies….THANK YOU!!! Hats off to the team
If you are a senior care provider and would like to get feedback from your staff, please email We offer these complimentary offerings to the industry as our way to give back and help in these times of crisis. Thank you to the #heroesinseniorcare!