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1.
Pilot Feasibility Stud ; 8(1): 41, 2022 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817283

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With increasing numbers of people living with dementia relying on family to care for them at home, there is an urgent need for practical and evidence-based programs to support carers in maintaining their mental health and well-being. The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a modified STrAtegies for RelaTives (START) program delivered online (START-online). METHOD: A mixed-methods non-blinded evaluation of START-online (using Zoom as videoconferencing platform) for acceptability and feasibility (completion rates and qualitative feedback through surveys and focus groups) and quantitative evaluation. This occurred at the National Ageing Research Institute, in metropolitan Victoria, Australia. RESULTS: Twenty-nine eligible carers were referred, 20 (70%) consented to the study. Of these, 16 (80%) completed all 8 sessions, 2 completed only 3 sessions, and 2 withdrew. Carers' qualitative feedback indicated that the therapist interaction was valued, content and online delivery of the program was acceptable. Feedback was mixed on the appropriate stage of caring. CONCLUSION: START-online was feasible and acceptable for carers, including those living outside of metropolitan areas who might otherwise be unable to access face-to-face programs. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic necessitating social distancing to avoid infection, interventions such as this one have increasing relevance in the provision of flexible services.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315761

ABSTRACT

Background: With increasing numbers of people living with dementia relying on family to care for them at home, there is an urgent need for practical and evidence-based programs to support carers in maintaining their mental health and well-being. The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a modified STrAtegies for RelaTives (START) program delivered online (START-online). Method: A mixed methods non-blinded evaluation of START-online (using Zoom as videoconferencing platform) for acceptability and feasibility (completion rates and qualitative feedback through surveys and focus groups) and quantitative evaluation. This occurred at the National Ageing Research Institute, in metropolitan Victoria, Australia. Results: : Twenty-nine eligible carers were referred, 20 (70%) consented to the study. Of these 16 (80%) completed all eight sessions, two completed only three sessions, and two withdrew. Carers’ qualitative feedback indicated that the therapist interaction was valued, content and online delivery of the program was acceptable. Feedback was mixed on the appropriate stage of caring. Conclusion: START-online was feasible and acceptable for carers, including those living outside of metropolitan areas who might otherwise be unable to access face-to-face programs. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic necessitating social distancing to avoid infection, interventions such as this one have increasing relevance in the provision of flexible services.

3.
Health Soc Care Community ; 30(5): e2928-e2939, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673090

ABSTRACT

Most people living with dementia want to continue living in their own home for as long as possible and many rely on support from homecare services to do so. There are concerns that homecare often fails to meet the needs of clients with dementia, but there is limited evidence regarding effective interventions to improve its delivery for this client group. We aimed to assess whether a co-designed, 6-session dementia training intervention for homecare workers (NIDUS-professional) was acceptable and feasible. Facilitated training sessions were delivered over 3 months, followed by 3, monthly implementation meetings to embed changes in practice. Two trained and supervised facilitators without clinical qualifications delivered the intervention via group video-calls during Oct 2020-March 2021 to a group of seven homecare workers from one agency in England. Participants provided qualitative feedback 3- and 6-months post intervention. Qualitative interview data and facilitator notes were integrated in a thematic analysis. Adherence to the intervention and fidelity of delivery were high, indicating that it was acceptable and feasible to deliver in practice. Thirty of a possible 42 (71.4%) group sessions were attended. In our thematic analysis we report one over-arching theme: 'Having time and space to reflect is a rare opportunity'. Within this we identified four subthemes (Having time to reflect is a rare opportunity; Reflecting with peers enhances learning; Reflection and perspective taking can improve care; Recognising skills and building confidence) through which we explored how participants valued the intervention to discuss their work and learn new skills. Attendance was lower for the implementation sessions, perhaps reflecting participants' lack of clarity about their purpose. We used our findings to consider how we can maintain positive impacts of the manualised sessions, so that these are translated into tangible, scalable benefits for people living with dementia and the homecare workforce. A randomised feasibility trial is underway.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Home Care Services , Home Health Aides , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dementia/therapy , Humans , Pandemics
4.
Alzheimer's & Dementia ; 17(S10):e055162, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1589230

ABSTRACT

Background Australia has a population of 26 million, and on January 28th 2021, 28,794 COVID-19 infections and 909 deaths. 685 deaths were at residential aged care facilities, and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 72.7% of the people who died of the coronavirus in Australia (up to 31 August 2020) had at least one pre-existing chronic condition listed on their death certificate, with dementia the most common (noted on 41% of death certificates). This presentation will present and discuss the key Australian dementia policy interventions implemented during the pandemic. Method A scoping review of published academic, media, policy papers, white papers, and grey literature was conducted. We extracted relevant information pertaining to policies relating to dementia care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Result The Australian government is managing the COVID-19 outbreak as a health emergency, and have developed and funded a comprehensive response. For the older population and those with ADRD, the key policies include the National Health Plans, specific plans for people with disabilities, telehealth expansions, mental health and wellbeing pandemic response plans, home delivery of prescriptions, the establishment of an Aged Care Health Emergency Response Operations Centre, and a National COVID-19 Aged Care Plan. In Victoria, the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre was established. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be given to priority groups from February 2021, which include aged care and disability care residents and workers (people with dementia account for 52% of all residents in aged care facilities). Strict policies were put in place for aged care facility visitations, and for the aged care workforce, such as the use of personal protective equipment and limiting staff to work in only one facility. Advocacy bodies were also key, and Dementia Australia and Dementia Support Australia, for example, developed advice to support people experiencing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia during the pandemic. Conclusion There are currently no active cases in residential aged care in Australia, zero locally acquired cases for several weeks, with the (minimal) new cases emerging from the hotel quarantine system. Health policies have managed to limit the spread of COVID-19 infection in Australia.

5.
Trials ; 22(1): 865, 2021 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most people living with dementia want to remain living in their own homes and are supported to do so by family carers. No interventions have consistently demonstrated improvements to people with dementia's life quality, functioning, or other indices of living as well as possible with dementia. We have co-produced, with health and social care professionals and family carers of people with dementia, a new intervention (NIDUS-family). To our knowledge, NIDUS-family is the first manualised intervention that can be tailored to personal goals of people living with dementia and their families and is delivered by facilitators without clinical training. The intervention utilizes components of behavioural management, carer support, psychoeducation, communication and coping skills training, enablement, and environmental adaptations, with modules selected to address dyads' selected goals. We will evaluate the effect of NIDUS-family and usual care on goal attainment, as measured by Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) rated by family carers, compared to usual care alone at 12-month follow-up. We will also determine whether NIDUS-family and usual care is more cost-effective than usual care alone over 12 months. METHODS: A randomised, two-arm, single-masked, multi-site clinical trial involving 297 people living with dementia-family carer dyads. Dyads will be randomised 2:1 to receive the NIDUS-family intervention with usual care (n = 199) or usual care alone (n = 98). The intervention group will be offered, over 1 year, via 6-8 video call or telephone sessions (or face to face if COVID-19 restrictions allow in the recruitment period) in the initial 6 months, followed by telephone follow-ups every 1-2 months to support implementation, with a trained facilitator. DISCUSSION: Increasing the time lived at home by people living with dementia is likely to benefit lives now and in the future. Our intervention, which we adapted to include remote delivery prior to trial commencement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to address barriers to living as well and as independently as possible that distress people living with dementia, exacerbate family carer(s) stress, negatively affect relationships, lead to safety risks, and frequently precipitate avoidable moves to a care home. TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number ISRCTN11425138 . Registered on 7 October 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Caregivers , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Dementia/diagnosis , Dementia/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Psychosocial Intervention , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Clin Gerontol ; 44(4): 430-438, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1010177

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Residents in nursing homes are being isolated to prevent exposure to COVID-19. Many are prone to depression, anxiety and loneliness, and extra isolation leaves them vulnerable to compromised mental health. In this study, trained volunteers providing befriending for residents with symptoms of depression, anxiety and loneliness switched to remote befriending during COVID-19. The purpose of this study was to gauge volunteer perceptions of the switch.Methods: A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to understand how switching to remote befriending impacted on volunteers and residents. A convenience sample of 18 participants responded to questions either in individual or group interviews.Results: Volunteers adapted their befriending visits, switching from face to face visits to remote options. The format was decided collaboratively. Hearing impairments hindered phone calls. Residents sometimes felt uncomfortable with digital technology but on the whole, the change to remote "visiting" was accepted.Conclusions: Further research is being conducted to gauge mental health outcomes for residents. Most volunteers and residents accepted the switch to remote befriending as better than no contact.Clinical implications: Volunteers can provide valuable support for residents living with social isolation during COVID-19. The format for social support needs to be decided collaboratively between volunteer and resident.


Subject(s)
Aged , COVID-19 , Loneliness/psychology , Mental Health , Telemedicine , Volunteers/psychology , Friends , Humans , Nursing Homes , Perception , Qualitative Research , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
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