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1.
BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 212, 2022 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social interactions are important for people living with dementia in a nursing home. However, not much is known about interactions and relationships between residents and family caregivers and related experiences of family caregivers. We aim to advance the knowledge on how family caregivers interact with people living with dementia in a nursing home and how they maintain or redesign a meaningful connection. METHODS: Qualitative research using interviews with family caregivers (n = 31) to explore perspectives on their interaction and relationship with the person living with dementia. Interviews were held during the reopening of nursing homes after the first COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands. In this situation, family caregivers became more aware of their interaction and relationship with the resident, which provided a unique opportunity to reflect on this. The interviews explored the interaction and relationship in a broad sense, not specifically for the COVID-19 situation. Thematic analysis was performed to analyze the data. RESULTS: We were able to identify three key themes reflecting the experiences of family caregivers: (1) changes in the interaction and relationship, (2) strategies to promote connection, and (3) appreciation of the interaction and relationship. From the viewpoint of family caregivers, the interaction and relationship are important for both the resident living with dementia and for themselves, and family caregivers have different strategies for establishing a meaningful connection. Nevertheless, some appear to experience difficulties with constructing such a connection with the resident. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide a basis for supporting family caregivers in perceiving and establishing mutuality and reciprocity so that they can experience togetherness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Caregivers , Communicable Disease Control , Dementia/epidemiology , Humans , Nursing Homes , Qualitative Research
2.
BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 142, 2022 02 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704829

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 restrictions in nursing homes resulted in a reduction in stimuli for residents. This study aimed to explore observed effects of changes in stimuli, both targeted (e.g., planned recreational activities) and untargeted (e.g., spontaneous noise), on challenging behavior in nursing home residents during COVID-19 anti-pandemic measures. METHODS: In an online survey, nursing home healthcare professionals in the Netherlands provided their perspectives on the effects of the reduction in untargeted stimuli on residents with mild, advanced, or no dementia, and on different types of challenging behavior (i.e., psychotic, depressed, anxious, agitated, or apathetic behavior). Additionally, we asked participants' opinions about strategies for limiting untargeted stimuli and for adjusting targeted stimuli for optimal management of challenging behaviors. RESULTS: In total, 199 professionals completed the survey. Residents with advanced dementia and those with psychotic and agitated behavior seemed to benefit from the reductions in stimuli not specifically targeted at the resident. In contrast, residents without dementia and those with depressive and apathetic behavior seemed to be negatively affected by reductions in untargeted stimuli. Participants would like to continue reducing untargeted stimuli in the future (e.g., limiting the use of corridors adjacent to residents' rooms) and to adapt existing or introduce new initiatives involving targeted stimuli (e.g., small-scale, individually tailored activities). Responses to open-ended questions revealed additional initiatives that could be useful in nursing home care. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided lessons to learn from the COVID-19 measures in nursing homes. While many residents may have been negatively affected by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, specific resident groups may have benefitted from the reduction in untargeted stimuli and from the adjustments made to daily activities. Various strategies and initiatives used in nursing homes during the pandemic seem promising for meeting individual needs in managing challenging behavior. These findings suggest that certain stimuli may affect specific resident groups differently. This underlines the importance of finding the right balance between stimuli and tranquility, tailored to the needs of individual residents. It is important to consider the stimuli present in nursing homes, whether targeted or untargeted, when analyzing and treating challenging behavior.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Alzheimers Dement ; 2022 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701246

ABSTRACT

As research and services in the Mediterranean region continue to increase, so do opportunities for global collaboration. To support such collaborations, the Alzheimer's Association was due to hold its seventh Alzheimer's Association International Conference Satellite Symposium in Athens, Greece in 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held virtually, which enabled attendees from around the world to hear about research efforts in Greece and the surrounding Mediterranean countries. Research updates spanned understanding the biology of, treatments for, and care of people with Alzheimer's disease (AD_ and other dementias. Researchers in the Mediterranean region have outlined the local epidemiology of AD and dementia, and have identified regional populations that may expedite genetic studies. Development of biomarkers is expected to aid early and accurate diagnosis. Numerous efforts have been made to develop culturally specific interventions to both reduce risk of dementia, and to improve quality of life for people living with dementia.

4.
Aging Ment Health ; : 1-6, 2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555423

ABSTRACT

In health care, well-being is considered to be composed of multiple interacting dimensions and to regard the subjective (affective and cognitive) evaluation of these dimensions. These dimensions are often referred to as physical, psychological, and social domains of life. Although there are various disease-specific and group-specific conceptual approaches, starting from a universal perspective provides a more inclusive approach to well-being. Indeed, universal approaches to well-being have striking overlaps with dementia-specific approaches. Although many initiatives have been launched to promote person-centered care and attention for well-being in recent decades, the current COVID pandemic showed that the primary focus in (Dutch) long-term care was still on physical health. However, a well-being perspective can be a central base of care: it is a means to include positive aspects, and it can be applied when addressing problems such as challenging behavior in the sense that both are about needs. Furthermore, providing care from this perspective is not only about the well-being of frail people and their loved ones but also about the well-being and needs of the involved professionals. Increasingly, research shows the importance of the quality of the resident-carer relationship, the carer's behavior, and their well-being for improving the well-being of residents. Applying the care approaches 'attentiveness in care' and relationship-centered care can contribute to the well-being of all involved stakeholders as these uphold the reciprocity of care relationships and take the values and attitudes, but also the vulnerability of those involved, into account.

5.
BMC Geriatr ; 21(1): 588, 2021 10 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477265

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To protect nursing home residents, many governments around the world implemented blanket visitor bans in March and April 2020. As a consequence, family caregivers, friends, and volunteers were not allowed to enter nursing homes, while residents were not allowed to go out. Up until now, little is known on the long-term consequences and effects of visiting bans and re-opening of nursing homes. The aim of the study was to assess the long-term effects of the pandemic on residents, family members, and staff, and their preparedness for the next coronavirus wave. METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was used, consisting of a questionnaire and analyses of documentation (local visiting protocols). Of the 76 nursing home locations that participated in a Dutch national pilot on welcoming visitors back into nursing homes, 64 participated in this follow-up study. Data were collected in September/October 2020. For each nursing home, one contact person completed the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were calculated for quantitative questionnaire data. Data on open-ended questions, as well as data from the documentation, were analyzed thematically. RESULTS: The study demonstrated that the consequences of strict visiting bans do not disappear at the moment the visiting ban is lifted. Although in October 2020, daily life in nursing homes was more "back to normal," more than one-third of the respondents indicated that they still applied restrictions. Compared to the situation before the pandemic, fewer volunteers were working in the nursing homes, grandchildren visited their relative less often, and visits differed. CONCLUSIONS: Five months after the visiting ban in Dutch nursing homes had been lifted, it still had an impact on residents, family members, and staff. It is questionable whether nursing homes feel prepared for welcoming visitors in the case of new COVID-19 infections. Nursing homes indicated that they felt prepared for the next wave, while at the same time, they were particularly concerned about staff well-being and vitality. It seems wise to invest in staff well-being. In addition, it seems desirable to think about how to support nursing homes in seeking a balance between infection prevention and well-being of residents, family members, and staff.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Int Psychogeriatr ; : 1-8, 2021 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169351

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: On May 11, the Dutch Government allowed 26 nursing homes to welcome 1 visitor per resident, after 2 months of lockdown. The study aimed to monitor in-depth the feasibility of the regulations and their impact on the well-being of residents, their visitors, and healthcare staff. DESIGN: Mixed-methods study in 5 of the 26 facilities; the facilities were affiliated to an academic network of nursing homes. PARTICIPANTS: Visitors and healthcare professionals. INTERVENTION: Allowing visitors using local regulations based on national guidelines. MEASUREMENTS: Digital questionnaire, analyzing documentation such as infection prevention control protocols, attending meetings of COVID-19 crisis teams, in-depth telephone or in-person interviews with visitors and healthcare professionals, and on-site observations. RESULTS: National guidelines were translated with great variety into local care practice. Healthcare professionals agreed that reopening would increase the well-being of the residents and their loved ones. However, there were also great worries for increasing workload, increasing the risk of emotional exhaustion, and the risk of COVID-19 infections. Compliance with local regulations was generally satisfactory, but maintaining social distance and correctly wearing face masks appeared to be difficult. Care staff remained ambivalent for fear of infections. In general, allowing visitors was experienced as having a positive impact on the well-being of all stakeholders. Nevertheless, some residents with dementia showed negative effects. CONCLUSION: The complete lockdown of Dutch nursing homes had a substantial impact on the well-being of the residents. The reopening was welcomed by all stakeholders, but provided a high organizational workload as well as feelings of ambivalence among care staff. In the second wave, a more tailored approach is being implemented. However, facilities are sometimes still struggling to find the right balance between infection control and well-being.

8.
Aging Ment Health ; 25(7): 1314-1319, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967715

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: From the perspective of the nursing home (NH) practitioners, to gain understanding of (1) whether challenging behavior in NH residents changed during the COVID-19 measures, (2) whether the practitioners' involvement in the treatment of challenging behavior changed, (3) what can be learned from the experience of NH staff. METHODS: A mixed methods study with a survey in 323 NH practitioners (psychologists, elderly care physicians, nurse practitioners) in the Netherlands, and in-depth interviews in 16 NH practitioners. Nonparametric analyses were used to compare estimated proportions of residents with increased and with decreased challenging behavior. Content analyses were conducted for open-ended questions and in-depth interviews. RESULTS: Participants reported changes in challenging behavior with slightly higher proportions for increased (Q1/Mdn/Q3: 12.5%, 21.7%, 30.8%) than for decreased (8.7%, 14.8%, 27.8%, Z = -2.35, p = .019) challenging behavior. Half of the participants reported that their work load increased and work satisfaction worsened during the measures. Different strategies were described to respond to the effects of COVID-19 measures, such as video calls, providing special areas for residents to meet their loved ones, adjusting activities, and reducing the exposure to negative news. CONCLUSIONS: Because COVID-19 measures resulted in both increased and decreased challenging behavior in NH residents, it is important to monitor for their potential long lasting effects. Increased work load and worsened work satisfaction of the NH staff, together with the changes in type of challenging behavior, indicate that the harmful effects of the anti-pandemic measures should be taken seriously.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Netherlands , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(7): 900-904, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-598614

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To prevent and control COVID-19 infections, nursing homes across the world have taken very restrictive measures, including a ban for visitors. These restrictive measures have an enormous impact on residents' well-being and pose dilemmas for staff, although primary data are lacking. A Dutch guideline was developed to cautiously open nursing homes for visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study reports the first findings on how the guideline was applied in the local context; the compliance to local protocols; and the impact on well-being of residents, their family caregivers, and staff. DESIGN: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: In total, 26 nursing homes were permitted to enlarge their possibilities for allowing visitors in their facility. These nursing homes were proportionally representative of the Netherlands as they were selected by their local Area Health Authority for participation. At each nursing home, a contact person was selected for participation in the current study. METHODS: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted, consisting of questionnaire, telephone interviews, analyses of documentation (ie, local visiting protocols), and a WhatsApp group. RESULTS: Variation in local protocols was observed, for example, related to the use of personal protective equipment, location, and supervision of visits. In general, experiences were very positive. All nursing homes recognized the added value of real and personal contact between residents and their loved ones and indicated a positive impact on well-being. Compliance with local guidelines was sufficient to good. No new COVID-19 infections were reported during this time. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These results indicate the value of family visitation in nursing homes and positive impact of visits. Based on these results, the Dutch government has decided to allow all nursing homes in the Netherlands to cautiously open their homes using the guidelines. More research is needed on impact and long-term compliance.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic , Infection Control/organization & administration , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Visitors to Patients/legislation & jurisprudence , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Geriatric Assessment , Guideline Adherence , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Humans , Male , Netherlands , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
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