COVID-19 resources

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Nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic: a scoping review of challenges and responses

European Geriatric Medicine

Introduction: COVID-19 has caused unprecedented challenges in nursing homes. This scoping review, aimed to describe factors that contributed to the spread and mortality of COVID-19 in nursing homes and provide an overview of responses that were implemented to try to overcome such challenges. Methods: The MeSH terms “Nursing homes” and “COVID-19” were searched in MEDLINE Ovid, and English language articles were retrieved that were published between 1 March 2020 and 31 January 2021. Article titles and abstracts were screened by two reviewers, and the results of included articles were grouped by themes. Results: The search retrieved 348 articles, of which 76 were included in the thematic review. 8 articles related to COVID-19 disease characteristics (e.g. asymptomatic transmission), 24 to resident-related factors (e.g. comorbidities, nutrition, cognition), 13 to facility characteristics (e.g. physical space, occupancy, for-profit status), 21 to staffing (e.g. staffing levels, staff-to-resident ratio, staff multi-employment), and 10 to external factors (e.g. availability of personal protective equipment, prevailing health and social care policies). In terms of responses, identified themes included widespread testing, isolation and cohorting of residents, staff protection and support, promotion of residents’ well-being, and technological innovations. Conclusion: COVID-19 exerted severe challenges on the nursing home population and its staff. Both internal and external factors predisposed nursing homes to an increased propensity of spread. Numerous strategies were employed to attempt to mitigate the negative impacts. Substantial learning occurred that may not only aid future pandemic preparedness but improve quality of care for nursing home residents at all times.

Last updated on hub: 18 June 2021

COVID-19: A Drug and Alcohol Rehab’s Guidance for Better Mental Health

Rehab 4 Addiction

Briefing note aimed at Alcohol and Rehab services and service users about how to provide support for better mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes information about how your mental health might be affected and how to get support and treatment.

Last updated on hub: 17 June 2021

Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in two longitudinal UK population cohorts

British Journal of Psychiatry

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences. Aims: To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic. Method: Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. Results: Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression. Conclusions: These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic should be last orders for poor care of people with neurodevelopmental disorders

British Journal of Psychiatry

We explore whether the needs of individuals with neurodevelopment disorders have been overlooked during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and set out the issues that need to be considered in response to future health crises and pandemics.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

COVID-19: a shock to the system – reflections from practice by safeguarding adults board managers

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: This paper aims to set out to share the reflections of safeguarding adult board managers as they worked through what is likely to be just the first wave of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on the experience of small number of safeguarding adult board managers who have provided reflections from practice. Findings: This paper illustrates just some of the responses developed by safeguarding adult board managers and their boards to continue to deliver the work of safeguarding those at risk of abuse and harm in the face of unprecedented impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on a key aspect of the safeguarding adult system in England. Originality/value: The reflections reported here are not intended to offer a representative commentary on the experiences of those who oversee and manage safeguarding adults’ boards. It is intention to provide a flavour of some of the challenges and dilemmas faced and some of the creative solutions to address them used by one group of adult safeguarding practitioners.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

High death rate of older persons from COVID-19 in Quebec (Canada) long-term care facilities: chronology and analysis

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: Among the ten Canadian provinces, Quebec has experienced the most significant excess mortality of older persons during COVID-19. This practice paper aims to present the chronology of events leading to this excess mortality in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and a comprehensive analysis of the phenomenon. Design/methodology/approach: Documented content from three official sources: daily briefings by the Quebec Premier, a report from the Canadian Armed Forces and a report produced by Royal Society of Canada experts were analysed. Findings: Two findings emerge: the lack of preparation in LTCFs and a critical shortage of staff. Indeed, the massive transfer of older persons from hospitals to LTCFs, combined with human resources management and a critical shortage of permanent staff before and during the crisis, generates unhealthy living conditions in LTCFs. Originality/value: To our knowledge, this paper is the first to analyse official Quebec and Canadian statements concerning COVID-19 from the angle of quality of life and protection of older adults in LTCFs.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

Theorising the impact of COVID-19 on the fraud victimisation of older persons

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand how COVID-19 may alter the vulnerability levels of older persons, and how this may change their potential for fraud victimisation. This is particularly focused on the government’s use of isolation, restrictions on activity and physical distancing to combat the virus. Design/methodology/approach: In the absence of statistics, this paper examines what is currently known about older persons and fraud, as well as the recent knowledge of COVID-19-related fraud. On this basis, the paper hypothesises the conceivable changes to vulnerability that potentially expose older persons to fraud. Findings: This paper argues that COVID-19 has not seen “new” fraudulent approaches, rather offenders have used COVID-19 as a context to their existing schemes. Further, the current response to COVID-19 can substantially increase the number of older persons experiencing levels of vulnerability, and therefore increase their fraud risk. Research limitations/implications: The current paper applies existing knowledge into the current circumstances of COVID-19 and lays the foundations for empirical work to be conducted in this area. Practical implications: This paper provides an impetus to target the well-being and connectivity of older persons, (regardless of the COVID-19 context), to reduce their vulnerability to fraud victimisation. Social implications: This paper highlights the importance of connectivity for older persons, and the need to focus on overcoming social isolation and loneliness. Originality/value: This paper is the first to hypothesise the effects of COVID-19 and its associated government responses to the overall vulnerability of older persons, with a focus on the potential for fraud victimisation.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

“Taking it on the chin”: older people, human rights and COVID-19

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss the implications of government responses to COVID-19 for older people. Governments in England and in Wales faced complex decisions when responding to COVID-19. This paper considers the impact of their actions on the human rights of older people. It argues that there is a case to answer of potential breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights. Although it is too early to come to firm conclusions as more scientific and medical evidence is required, some actions by governments seem to be based on using age as a basis for decision-making. Human rights are complex, and it is important that claims of violations satisfy the Convention, the Human Rights Act 1998, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and other international instruments. Design/methodology/approach: The paper considers the legal framework of the European Convention and its relevance to Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) and older people. Case law, academic research, guidance and media coverage form the basis of the research. Findings: The governments have a strong case to answer. In defending their positions against allegations of discrimination against older people, they need to produce strong and convincing evidence including medical and scientific evidence that formed the basis of their decisions. Originality/value: This paper is based on original research into human rights, older people and COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

The crisis of Neoliberal project of aging during the COVID-19 pandemic: from compulsory activity to mandatory isolation

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: This paper aims to consider how the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic questions the neoliberal project of ageing, based on a notion of a healthy, active, working older person. A long-term struggle to include older people has been (temporarily) replaced with a struggle to exclude them. This seems to be one of the most sensitive sore spots of the coronavirus crisis and one of the most serious challenges to social policy and welfare systems the world over. The purpose of this paper is to consider where the concepts of ageing and the action on ageing were at right before the crisis and what their further development may look like. Design/methodology/approach: This paper provides a critical overview of main conceptions based on the neoliberal project of ageing. Findings: The main principle of the neoliberal project of ageing, which had been formed on the crossroad of social theory and policy through decades, became vulnerable in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. The new forced ageing reveals its repressive nature through ensuring seniors’ safety from exposure, their removal from work and isolation. The theory now faces new challenges of meshing a neoliberal actor – active, independent and productive – with an older person in isolation, who needs safeguarding, of re-conceptualizing social exclusion of seniors in a situation where exclusion is equated with safety, of resolving a dilemma between isolation and respect of human rights and of keeping progress in anti-ageism. Research limitations/implications: This paper presents an overview of the main conceptions, underlying the neoliberal project of ageing. It aims to designate the vulnerabilities of the project, which were revealed under the situation of pandemic. Further development of the discussion needs detailed analysis of theoretical conceptions of ageing. Practical implications: Theoretical debate reflects policy of ageing. Discussion of theoretical problems of ageism, social exclusion, safeguarding of the elderly and compulsion are necessary for improvement of social policy of ageing. Social implications: When the neoliberal project of ageing comes into collision with the reality with the reality, the authors recognize it as a crisis. It moves the society, and especially the elderly, to the situation of uncertainty. This paper calls for discussion and search for a new balance among the generations in a society. Originality/value: This paper relies upon the current debate on neoliberal project of ageing and responds immediately to the situation of pandemic. Now conceptual problems in theories of ageing and policy projects became visible, and the authors suppose it is time to initiate this discussion.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

Monthly statistics for adult social care (England)

Department of Health and Social Care

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) publish monthly official statistics (experimental) on adult social care in England. This publication provides and overview on a range of information on social care settings, with a focus on the impact of COVID-19. Data in these reports includes: first and second COVID-19 vaccination uptake in social care settings; selected infection prevention control (IPC) measures in care homes at national, regional and local authority (LA) level; staffing levels in care homes at national, regional and LA level; personal protective equipment (PPE) availability in care homes at national, regional and LA level; testing for COVID-19 in care homes at national, regional and LA level.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

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