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Health Soc Care Community ; 2022 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992807


COVID-19 had a devastating impact on older people living in care homes. This study explored the clinical trajectory and management of COVID-19, as well as recovery of older people following infection during the early stages of the pandemic (May to August 2020). A two-phase exploratory qualitative study was used. Frontline staff with experience of caring for older people with COVID-19 were recruited to Phase 1, and senior care home operational and quality managers were recruited to Phase 2. During Phase 1 remote semi-structured interviews (n = 35) were carried out with staff working in care homes, hospital and community settings in England. During Phase 2, a remote consultation event was carried out with senior care home operational and quality managers (n = 11) to share Phase 1 findings and check resonance, relevance and gaps. Data were analysed using Framework Analysis. Older people with COVID-19 presented with wide ranging symptoms, and an unpredictable illness trajectory. The wide range of COVID-19 symptoms required timely testing and supportive interventions. Staff used different interventions to manage symptoms and reported uncertainties of how individuals would respond. In care home settings, health and social care staff needed to work together when administering interventions such as subcutaneous fluids or oxygen therapy. Alongside symptom management, supportive care focused on nutrition and hydration, social interaction, and maintaining physical activity to meet both physical and emotional needs. The effects of prolonged periods of social isolation and inactivity on the health and well-being of older people means rehabilitation is essential to enhance physical and emotional recovery, and to minimise impacts on cognition and function. The pandemic highlighted important areas for care of this population.

Age Ageing ; 51(7)2022 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960975


Long-term care homes play an essential role within health and social care. Successful measures to support older people at home for longer have led to increased prevalence of disability, frailty and cognitive impairment in those who live in care homes over the last two decades. The need for care home places is projected to increase for the next two decades. Modern care homes provide care for people who are predominantly over 80, have multiple long-term conditions, take multiple medicines, are physically dependent and live with cognitive impairment. Residents do better when services recognise the contributions of staff and care home providers rather than treating residents as individual patients living in a communal setting. There is a strong case given residents' frailty, multimorbidity and disability, that care should be structured around Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA). Care should be designed to allow opportunities for multiprofessional teams to come together for CGA, particularly if healthcare professionals are based outside care homes. Good data about care homes and residents are central to efforts to deliver high quality care-in some countries, these data are collected but not collated. Collating such data is a priority. Care home staff are under-recognised and underpaid-parity of pay and opportunity with NHS staff is the bare minimum to ensure that the best are recruited and retained in the sector. During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and relatives have frequently been left out of decisions about policies that affect them, and better consultation is needed to deliver high quality care.

COVID-19 , Frailty , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Geriatric Assessment , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics