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Age Ageing ; 50(2): 335-340, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-766513


The care and support of older people residing in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic has created new and unanticipated uncertainties for staff. In this short report, we present our analyses of the uncertainties of care home managers and staff expressed in a self-formed closed WhatsApp™ discussion group during the first stages of the pandemic in the UK. We categorised their wide-ranging questions to understand what information would address these uncertainties and provide support. We have been able to demonstrate that almost one-third of these uncertainties could have been tackled immediately through timely, responsive and unambiguous fact-based guidance. The other uncertainties require appraisal, synthesis and summary of existing evidence, commissioning or provision of a sector- informed research agenda for medium to long term. The questions represent wider internationally relevant care home pandemic-related uncertainties.

Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Long-Term Care , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Uncertainty , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Focus Groups , Health Personnel/economics , Health Personnel/ethics , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Long-Term Care/ethics , Long-Term Care/methods , Long-Term Care/psychology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
Age Ageing ; 49(5): 701-705, 2020 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-247828


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected care home residents internationally, with 19-72% of COVID-19 deaths occurring in care homes. COVID-19 presents atypically in care home residents and up to 56% of residents may test positive whilst pre-symptomatic. In this article, we provide a commentary on challenges and dilemmas identified in the response to COVID-19 for care homes and their residents. We highlight the low sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction testing and the difficulties this poses for blanket screening and isolation of residents. We discuss quarantine of residents and the potential harms associated with this. Personal protective equipment supply for care homes during the pandemic has been suboptimal and we suggest that better integration of procurement and supply is required. Advance care planning has been challenged by the pandemic and there is a need to for healthcare staff to provide support to care homes with this. Finally, we discuss measures to implement augmented care in care homes, including treatment with oxygen and subcutaneous fluids, and the frameworks which will be required if these are to be sustainable. All of these challenges must be met by healthcare, social care and government agencies if care home residents and staff are to be physically and psychologically supported during this time of crisis for care homes.

Coronavirus Infections , Delivery of Health Care , Homes for the Aged , Long-Term Care , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Quarantine , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Health Services Needs and Demand , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Homes for the Aged/standards , Humans , Long-Term Care/methods , Long-Term Care/standards , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Nursing Homes/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Quarantine/organization & administration , Quarantine/psychology , SARS-CoV-2