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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(6): e048503, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276962

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To understand and report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the everyday lives of frail older persons living in nursing homes by exploring their experiences of how the pandemic-related restrictions had influenced them and in what way. DESIGN: Empirical qualitative interview study. SETTING: A publicly run nursing home in an urban area in Sweden in June 2020. The nursing home had visitor restrictions, cancelled activities and physical distancing requirements since March 2020. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 10 persons, 85-100 years, living in a Swedish nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic, were recruited through nursing home management and interviewed in June 2020 using medically approved visors and physical distancing. ANALYSIS: Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis, which involves familiarisation, coding and definition of themes. Transcripts were coded into data-driven categories before being organised into categories that described and explained the data. RESULTS: The analysis resulted in the main theme 'It is like living in a bubble', that describes everyday life in the nursing home during the pandemic as a world of its own in which the older persons felt both protected and isolated. This is described in four subthemes: living 1 day at a time, without fear of the virus; feeling taken care of; having limited freedom and missing out on the little extras. CONCLUSIONS: Contributing to the growing area of COVID-19-related research, our findings provide novel insights into how pandemic-related restrictions in nursing homes represent a risk of isolating older people from the outside world and diminishing their freedom. Put in relation to the previous research, these findings could be applied beyond the pandemic, to develop research and practice that puts focus on how to support older people to decide for themselves how to spend the rest of their lives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Humans , Nursing Homes , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Sweden/epidemiology
2.
Ageing Res Rev ; 69: 101373, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242880

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is relevant in older people. Attention was given to the nursing homes in which frailer people are usually admitted. In this review, we discuss the approaches for daily problems found in nursing home as geriatricians and potentially new research directions. We start with the problem of the older people affected by dementia and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia for which also the execution of a simple diagnostic test (such as nasopharyngeal swab) could be problematic. Another important problem is the management of wandering patients for which the re-organization of the spaces and vaccination could be the solutions. The relationship with families is another important problem, also from a medico-legal point of view, that can be faced using video conferencing tools. Moreover, we discussed the importance of stratifying prognosis in older nursing home residents for the best management and therapeutically approach, including palliative care, also using telemedicine and the inclusion of prognostic tools in daily clinical practice. Finally, we approached the therapeutical issues in older people that suggests the necessity of future research for finding older-friendly medications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Aged , Dementia/therapy , Geriatricians , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Clin Nurs ; 2021 May 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238447

ABSTRACT

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To examine what was known about disaster preparedness in residential care and to consider this in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. BACKGROUND: Care homes provide long-term care to vulnerable, frail older people, as well as to young people with profound disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the residential care sector has been seriously affected in many parts of the world and has exposed major flaws and vulnerabilities in infection control and other processes that have resulted in considerable loss of life of residents of these facilities. DESIGN: Discursive paper informed by a systematic literature. Review was carried out in line with PRISMA reporting guidelines. The review protocol was registered with PROSPERO on 2020 [CRD42020211847]. RESULTS: The review identified six papers meeting inclusion criteria across care residential facilities in different countries. Several prevention and mitigation strategies were identified to manage and reduce the spread and severity of viral respiratory infection pandemics. These strategies include isolation, restriction of movement, personal protective and hygienic measures, health education and information sharing, monitoring and coordination, and screening and treatment. Preparedness strategies identified were contingency planning such as reporting/communication, leadership, human resource, insurance, occupational health and resource availability. The prevention/mitigation and preparedness strategies helped to achieve decline in disease severity, reduced prevalence, reduced spread of the disease, improved readiness criteria, resource usefulness and increased intervention acceptability. This paper presents a conceptual framework exploring the interconnectedness of preparedness and prevention/ mitigation strategies and associated outcomes. We discuss areas of concern in the context of workforce employment patterns in the sector. Concerns related to the unintended consequences of strategies placed on aged care facilities, which may worsen mental health outcomes for residents, are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Persons in residential care settings are at greater risk of infection during a pandemic, and therefore, strict measures to protect their safety are warranted. However, they are also a group who already experience social isolation and so any measures involving restrictions to visiting and social interaction, particularly over the longer term, must be accompanied by strategies to mitigate potential loneliness and mental health sequelae arising from long-term pandemic restrictions. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Though there was evidence of activity in preparedness for disasters within the residential care sector, various contextual factors affecting the sector were clearly not adequately considered or addressed in pre-pandemic disaster planning, particularly in the areas of staff movements between care homes and the length of time that social isolation and restriction measures would need to be in place. Future pandemic planning should consider the nature of the workforce model in the care home sector, and factor in strategies to better support the mobile and highly casualised workforce.

4.
Bone Jt Open ; 2(5): 314-322, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232454

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Hip fracture is a common condition of the older, frailer person. This population is also at risk from SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is important to understand the impact of coexistent hip fracture and SARS-CoV-2 for informed decision-making at patient and service levels. METHODS: We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies of older (> 60 years) people with fragility hip fractures and outcomes with and without SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary outcome was early (30-day or in-hospital) mortality. Secondary outcomes included length of hospital stay and key clinical characteristics known to be associated with outcomes after hip fracture. RESULTS: A total of 14 cohort and five case series studies were included (692 SARS-CoV-2 positive, 2,585 SARS-CoV-2 negative). SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with an overall risk ratio (RR) for early mortality of 4.42 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.42 to 5.82). Early mortality was 34% (95% CI 30% to 38%) and 9% (95% CI 8% to 10%) in the infected and noninfected groups respectively. Length of stay was increased in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients (mean difference (MD) 5.2 days (3.2 to 7.2)). Age (MD 1.6 years (0.3 to 2.9)); female sex (RR 0.83 (95% CI 0.65 to 1.05)); admission from home (RR 0.51 (95% CI 0.26 to 1.00)); presence of dementia (RR 1.13 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.43)); and intracapsular fracture (RR 0.89 (95% CI 0.71 to 1.11)) were not associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. There were statistically, but not clinically, significantly greater Nottingham Hip Fracture Scores in infected compared with non-infected patients (MD 0.7 (0.4 to 0.9)). CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with worse outcomes after hip fracture. This is not explained by differences in patient characteristics. These data can be used to support informed decision-making and may help track the impact of widespread adoption of system-level and therapeutic changes in management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cite this article: Bone Jt Open 2021;2(5):314-322.

5.
Age Ageing ; 50(3): 641-648, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217804

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Frail older persons may have an atypical presentation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The value of real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing for identifying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nursing homes (NHs) residents is not known. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether (i) atypical symptoms may predict rRT-PCR results and (ii) rRT-PCR results may predict immunisation against SARS-CoV-2 in NH residents. DESIGN: A retrospective longitudinal study. SETTING: Eight NHs with at least 10 rRT-PCR-positive residents. SUBJECTS: A total of 456 residents. METHODS: Typical and atypical symptoms recorded in residents' files during the 14 days before and after rRT-PCR testing were analysed. Residents underwent blood testing for IgG-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein 6 to 8 weeks after testing. Univariate and multivariate analyses compared symptoms and immunisation rates in rRT-PCR-positive and negative residents. RESULTS: A total of 161 residents had a positive rRT-PCR (35.3%), 17.4% of whom were asymptomatic before testing. Temperature >37.8°C, oxygen saturation <90%, unexplained anorexia, behavioural change, exhaustion, malaise and falls before testing were independent predictors of a further positive rRT-PCR. Among the rRT-PCR-positive residents, 95.2% developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies vs 7.6% in the rRT-PCR-negative residents. Among the residents with a negative rRT-PCR, those who developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies more often had typical or atypical symptoms (P = 0.02 and <0.01, respectively). CONCLUSION: This study supports a strategy based on (i) testing residents with typical or unexplained atypical symptoms for an early identification of the first SARS-CoV-2 cases, (ii) rT-PCR testing for identifying COVID-19 residents, (iii) repeated wide-facility testing (including asymptomatic cases) as soon as a resident is tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and (iv) implementing SARS-CoV-2 infection control measures in rRT-PCR-negative residents when they have unexplained typical or atypical symptoms.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Immunization , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Accidental Falls , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anorexia , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , False Negative Reactions , False Positive Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods
6.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(6): 1128-1132, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174340

ABSTRACT

Residents of long-term care (LTC) homes have suffered disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the virus itself and often from the imposition of lockdown measures. Provincial Geriatrics Leadership Ontario, in collaboration with interRAI and the International Federation on Aging, hosted a virtual Town Hall on September 25, 2020. The purpose of this event was to bring together international perspectives from researchers, clinicians, and policy experts to address important themes potentially amenable to timely policy interventions. This article summarizes these themes and the ensuing discussions among 130 attendees from 5 continents. The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on frail residents of LTC homes reflects a systematic lack of equitable prioritization by health system decision makers around the world. The primary risk factors for an outbreak in an LTC home were outbreaks in the surrounding community, high staff and visitor traffic in large facilities, and crowding of residents in ageing buildings. Infection control measures must be prioritized in LTC homes, though care must be taken to protect frail and vulnerable residents from their overly blunt application that deprives residents from appropriate physical and psychosocial support. Staffing, in terms of overall numbers, training, and leadership skills, was inadequate. The built environment of LTC homes can be configured for both optimal resident well-being and infection control. Infection control and resident wellness need not be mutually exclusive. Improving outcomes for LTC residents requires more staffing with proper training and interprofessional leadership. All these initiatives must be underpinned by an effective quality assurance system based on standardized, comprehensive, accessible, and clinically relevant data, and which can support broad communities of practice capable of effecting real and meaningful change for frail older persons, wherever they chose to reside.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Long-Term Care , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Built Environment , COVID-19/prevention & control , Frail Elderly , Health Workforce , Humans , Infection Control , Ontario
7.
Age Ageing ; 50(3): 641-648, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096483

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Frail older persons may have an atypical presentation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The value of real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing for identifying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nursing homes (NHs) residents is not known. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether (i) atypical symptoms may predict rRT-PCR results and (ii) rRT-PCR results may predict immunisation against SARS-CoV-2 in NH residents. DESIGN: A retrospective longitudinal study. SETTING: Eight NHs with at least 10 rRT-PCR-positive residents. SUBJECTS: A total of 456 residents. METHODS: Typical and atypical symptoms recorded in residents' files during the 14 days before and after rRT-PCR testing were analysed. Residents underwent blood testing for IgG-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein 6 to 8 weeks after testing. Univariate and multivariate analyses compared symptoms and immunisation rates in rRT-PCR-positive and negative residents. RESULTS: A total of 161 residents had a positive rRT-PCR (35.3%), 17.4% of whom were asymptomatic before testing. Temperature >37.8°C, oxygen saturation <90%, unexplained anorexia, behavioural change, exhaustion, malaise and falls before testing were independent predictors of a further positive rRT-PCR. Among the rRT-PCR-positive residents, 95.2% developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies vs 7.6% in the rRT-PCR-negative residents. Among the residents with a negative rRT-PCR, those who developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies more often had typical or atypical symptoms (P = 0.02 and <0.01, respectively). CONCLUSION: This study supports a strategy based on (i) testing residents with typical or unexplained atypical symptoms for an early identification of the first SARS-CoV-2 cases, (ii) rT-PCR testing for identifying COVID-19 residents, (iii) repeated wide-facility testing (including asymptomatic cases) as soon as a resident is tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and (iv) implementing SARS-CoV-2 infection control measures in rRT-PCR-negative residents when they have unexplained typical or atypical symptoms.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Immunization , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Accidental Falls , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anorexia , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , False Negative Reactions , False Positive Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods
8.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 577113, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940206

ABSTRACT

Special attention and efforts to protect from or reduce health-related outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus triggering coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), should be applied in susceptible populations, including frail older people. In particular, the early death cases occurred primarily in older people with a frailty status, possibly due to a weaker immune system fostering faster progression of the viral infection. Frailty is an age-related multidimensional clinical condition defined as a non-specific state of vulnerability, identifying older people at increased risk of falls, institutionalization, hospitalization, disability, dementia, and death. Among frailty phenotypes, social frailty has been least studied. It considers the role of socioeconomic context as a vulnerability status later in life. COVID-19 does not affect all populations equally, and social inequalities contribute to drive the spread of infections. It was known that the perception of social isolation, e.g., loneliness, affects mental and physical health, but the implicated molecular mechanisms, also related to the immune system, and its associated cognitive and health-related sequelae, are poorly understood. The increasing psychological distress derived by prolonged exposure to stress due to the lockdown scenario, and the reduced sources of support, contributed to making heavy demands on personal resources, i.e., self-efficacy and interpersonal variables. So, perceived loneliness may be a factor associated with psychological distress and an outcome in itself. In the COVID-19 pandemic era, a correct assessment of social frailty may be essential in terms of the prevention of late-life neuropsychiatric disorders.

9.
Geriatrics (Basel) ; 5(3)2020 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-905232

ABSTRACT

Frailty assessed using Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) is a good predictor of adverse clinical events including mortality in older people. CFS is also an essential criterion for determining ceilings of care in people with COVID-19. Our aims were to assess the prevalence of frailty in older patients hospitalised with COVID-19, their sex and age distribution, and the completion rate of the CFS tool in evaluating frailty. Methods: Data were collected from thirteen sites. CFS was assessed routinely at the time of admission to hospital and ranged from 1 (very fit) to 9 (terminally ill). The completion rate of the CFS was assessed. The presence of major comorbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease was noted. Results: A total of 1277 older patients with COVID-19, aged ≥ 65 (79.9 ± 8.1) years were included in the study, with 98.5% having fully completed CFS. The total prevalence of frailty (CFS ≥ 5) was 66.9%, being higher in women than men (75.2% vs. 59.4%, p < 0.001). Frailty was found in 161 (44%) patients aged 65-74 years, 352 (69%) in 75-84 years, and 341 (85%) in ≥85 years groups, and increased across the age groups (<0.0001, test for trend). Conclusion: Frailty was prevalent in our cohort of older people admitted to hospital with COVID-19. This indicates that older people who are also frail, who go on to contract COVID-19 may have disease severity significant enough to warrant hospitalization. These data may help inform health care planners and targeted interventions and appropriate management for the frail older person.

10.
Ethics Med Public Health ; 14: 100539, 2020.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-728678

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic particularly affects older people and exposes them to a higher risk of mortality. Containment, social distancing and isolation measures have been implemented to limit viral transmission. While there is a clear rationale for reducing the contagiousness of the infection through this means, the adverse consequences of this social isolation, especially for this heterogeneous, aged and frail people, are difficult to apprehend. In particular, the disruption of the usual support and care ecosystems at home or in institutions may paradoxically increase the frailty of these people and lead to adverse events we wanted to avoid. On the other hand, the risk of a decrease in the older person's empowerment regarding his or her own health and social life decisions requires particular vigilance to prevent the risk of societal ageism. Regarding this population in particular, a possible conflict of values between individual and collective protection on one hand and respect for autonomy and independence on the other hand could exist. This article proposes an ethical reflection on the issue of containment of frail ageing people, based on medical ethics principles, in order to open up positive approaches of vulnerability that guarantee respect for the dignity of the person and equity in care access.

12.
J Nutr Health Aging ; 24(7): 692-695, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401339

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 infection is particularly associated with negative outcomes (i.e., serious disease, death) in frail older people, independently of where they live. Furthermore, the period of pandemic (with its lockdowns, social distancing, fragmentation of care…) has significantly changed the environment in which older people live. It is likely that, when the pandemic will be over, an acceleration of the aging process will be observed for many persons, independently of whether they have been infected or not by the SARS-CoV-2. The World report on ageing and health, published by the World Health Organization, proposes the concept of intrinsic capacity (i.e., the composite of all the physical and mental capacities of the individual) as central for healthy ageing. The routine assessment of biological age through constructs such as intrinsic capacity might have allowed a better understanding of the functional trajectories and vulnerabilities of the individual, even during a catastrophic event as the one we are currently living. In the present article, we describe how COVID-19 has affected the persons' intrinsic capacity, and how the wide adoption of the intrinsic capacity model may support the modernization of our systems and bring them closer to the individual.


Subject(s)
Aging/psychology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Healthy Aging , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation
15.
Age Ageing ; 49(4): 523-524, 2020 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116314

ABSTRACT

Common symptoms of pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) include fever and cough. We describe a 94-year-old man with well-controlled schizoaffective disorder, who presented with non-specific and atypical symptoms: delirium, low-grade pyrexia and abdominal pain. He was given antibiotics for infection of unknown source, subsequently refined to treatment for community-acquired pneumonia. Despite active treatment, he deteriorated with oxygen desaturation and tachypnoea. A repeat chest X-ray showed widespread opacification. A postmortem throat swab identified COVID-19 infection. He was treated in three wards over 5 days with no infection control precautions. This has implications for the screening, assessment and isolation of frail older people to COVID-specific clinical facilities and highlights the potential for spread among healthcare professionals and other patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Delirium/etiology , Frail Elderly , Frailty/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delirium/diagnosis , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Radiography, Thoracic , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
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