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J Hosp Palliat Nurs ; 23(2): 120-127, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183083


Outbreaks of COVID-19 among nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities in the United States have had devastating effects on residents. Restrictions such as banning visitors, sequestering residents, and testing health care staff have been implemented to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, consequences include a decline in mental and physical health, decompensation, and a sense of hopelessness among residents. We present and explore a case study at an assisted living facility addressing the ethical issues in balancing the management of the community versus the resident's right to autonomy and self-determination. A team of palliative care experts was brought into assisted living facilities to manage patients, care for well residents, and provide input in advance care planning and symptom management. The principles of self-determination and autonomy, stewardship, and distributive justice were explored. The use of nursing skills in triage and assessment, principles in public health, and the 8 domains of palliative care provided a comprehensive framework for structuring emergency operations. Palliative interventions and the role of palliative care nurses played an integral part in addressing ethical challenges in the containment of the virus and the deleterious effects of social isolation among the elderly.

Assisted Living Facilities/ethics , COVID-19/nursing , Disease Outbreaks , Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing/ethics , Public Health/ethics , Aged , Assisted Living Facilities/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Long-Term Care/ethics , Organizational Case Studies , United States/epidemiology
Geriatr Gerontol Int ; 20(12): 1112-1119, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-901048


Since the end of 2019, a life-threatening infectious disease (coronavirus disease 2019: COVID-19) has spread globally, and numerous victims have been reported. In particular, older persons tend to suffer more severely when infected with a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and have higher case mortality rates; additionally, outbreaks frequently occur in hospitals and long-term care facilities where most of the residents are older persons. Unfortunately, it has been stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a medical collapse in some countries, resulting in the depletion of medical resources, such as ventilators, and triage based on chronological age. Furthermore, as some COVID-19 cases show a rapid deterioration of clinical symptoms and accordingly, the medical and long-term care staff cannot always confirm the patient's values and wishes in time, we are very concerned as to whether older patients are receiving the medical and long-term care services that they wish for. It was once again recognized that it is vital to implement advance care planning as early as possible before suffering from COVID-19. To this end, in August 2020, the Japan Geriatrics Society announced ethical recommendations for medical and long-term care for older persons and emphasized the importance of conducting advance care planning at earlier stages. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 1112-1119.

Advance Care Planning , COVID-19/therapy , Long-Term Care/ethics , Advance Care Planning/ethics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , Consensus , Decision Making/ethics , Geriatrics/standards , Health Resources/economics , Humans , Japan , Pandemics/ethics , Triage/ethics
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