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


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.

COVID-19 , Dementia , Caregivers , Communicable Disease Control , Dementia/epidemiology , Humans , Nursing Homes , Qualitative Research
Int Psychogeriatr ; : 1-8, 2021 Apr 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169351


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.