COVID-19 resources on Home care

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Home palliative care professionals perception of challenges during the Covid-19 outbreak: a qualitative study

Palliative Medicine

Background: Home palliative care services have played an essential role during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak by providing symptom control, drug procurement, and psychological support for frail patients and their families unable to leave their homes. Aim: To understand how home palliative care professionals were affected by the outbreak, describing changes and challenges in their daily work as well as their reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy. Design: Qualitative study conducted using telephone semi-structured interviews, with thematic analysis. Setting/participants: Thirty home care professionals working for an Italian non-profit organization which provides home palliative care for cancer patients and their families. Results: Three main themes were identified. The first theme showed both patient-related and practice-related challenges participants faced in their daily work, requiring the implementation of different communication methods and patient and family education on risk prevention. The second theme showed the perception of increased responsibility and being the only landmark for family played a decisive role in participants’ positive attitude. The third theme highlighted the participants’ perception of the critical role of a home care setting in this emergency situation. Conclusions: The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic brought many challenges and stressors for home palliative care professionals. On the other side, they reported a satisfaction with their critical role in carrying out their work with patients at risk.

Last updated on hub: 06 May 2021

Personal protective equipment (PPE): resource for care workers delivering domiciliary care during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England

Public Health England

Guidance for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during sustained coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in England. It explains how PPE guidance applies to the homecare (domiciliary care) setting and is drawn from full infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE guidance. The guidance is primarily for care workers and providers delivering care in visiting homecare, extra care housing and live-in homecare settings. [Published 27 April 2020; Last updated 6 April 2021]

Last updated on hub: 20 April 2021

Living at home with dementia now more complicated with COVID-19

Health and Social Work

Social workers are playing key roles in dementia care around the world and have become critical components of interprofessional teams a need that is accelerating in the era of COVID-19. This article explores key aspects of social work dementia care pre-COVID-19; dementia dilemmas for social workers; lessons learned during the pandemic; and implications for social work practice. The paper observes that contemporary essential social work competencies for dementia care include: knowledge of ethical and appropriate care for the individual experiencing the disease; ability to provide individual and group support for caregivers; knowledge of stages of dementia of all types; competence in assisting families to prepare with advance directives; understanding of behavioural and environmental interventions to diffuse agitated behaviours; awareness of local resources for caregiving respite, support, and health, including those available through telehealth and other virtual and emerging modalities; familiarly with levels of care, payment models, and state and national financial regulations for payment.

Last updated on hub: 19 April 2021

Evidence summary: the use of information and communications technology and data sharing in long-term care settings

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This evidence summary covers emerging evidence on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) and data sharing in long-term care settings (both in facilities and in the community) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It summarises evidence from 21 studies, distinguishing between interventions to provide or maintain care, monitor COVID-19 patients remotely, provide training and guidance to informal and professional carers, combat isolation, track COVID-19 exposure, as well as other applications. The use of information and communications technology and data sharing in LTC settings has been deployed during the pandemic for several purposes. This includes those focused on the continuation of care, such as using technology to monitor patients, replace face-to-face consultations, and enable contact with families. Additionally, technology has been used for data sharing purposes, to provide training and guidance, to model outbreaks, and predict outcomes for patients. However, these interventions have generally only been described in case studies and other descriptive reports. Robust empirical evaluations of information and communications technology and data sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic in LTC facilities remains largely missing.

Last updated on hub: 19 April 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for personal assistants

Department of Health and Social Care

Explains how personal assistants working in adult social care in England can access twice-weekly COVID-19 testing. Personal assistants working in adult social care who provide care that requires them to come within 2 metres of an adult over the age of 18 who they support will be eligible for testing. Personal assistants will be responsible for ordering test kits every 21 days or an employee can order test kits on their behalf. [Published 16 February 2021; Last updated 9 April 2021]

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2021

Care tech landscape review: home care

Future Care Capital

This research explores the tech startups and developers deploying solutions for the home care market. We describe the technologies contributing to the solutions as well as specific implementations. We explore the benefits they bring to those providing support as well as those experiencing care at home. The research identified a relatively small population of startup developers and providers of home care technology across England. The main technologies being developed were: IoT (Internet-of-things) based (12), apps for mobiles and tablets (16), or platforms for the coordination of care and care associated functions (15). The IoT startups could also be further subdivided into those making use of AI (2) or testing 5G connectivity (4). The investment received by these companies is low when compared to other sectors or sector niches – companies developing home care technology solutions receive £807,153.71 average investment. The report argues that targeted support and intervention is required to grow the sector in order to provide a defined ecosystem and an adequate range of companies to meet the needs of individuals. In other words, care is not one size fits all and neither are technology solutions.

Last updated on hub: 10 March 2021

Care of people with COVID-19 symptoms living in their own home or in residential/nursing care

Skills for Care

This guide is for adult social care managers to support their teams where they are providing care and support to someone with COVID-19 symptoms in residential care, supported living services or in a person’s own home. It provides some practical tips for managing symptoms of COVID-19 based on clinical guidance and can be used to guide workers whilst taking into consideration each person’s individual wishes, preferences, health and specific needs. Personal assistants (PAs) and unpaid carers may also find it useful. The guide covers: care planning, local and organisational policy; Covid-19 symptoms; managing cough; managing breathlessness; managing fever; managing anosmia; managing delirium; managing pain; and managing diarrhoea.

Last updated on hub: 09 March 2021

COVID-19 guidance for healthcare staff providing home care visits

Health Protection Surveillance Centre

Webinar presentation slides, aimed at health care staff providing home care visits, covering: challenges in providing care with home visits; implications of new variant strain of COVID-19; COVID-19 IPC measures for home visits; public health and contact tracing of home care staff; and vaccination.

Last updated on hub: 08 March 2021

Tracking the mental health of home-carers during the first COVID-19 national lockdown: evidence from a nationally representative UK survey


Background Unpaid carers who look after another member of their household (home-carers) have poorer mental health than the general population. The first COVID-19 national lockdown led to an increasing reliance on home-carers and this study investigates the short and longer-term impact of lockdown on their mental health. Methods Data from 9,737 adult participants (aged 16+) from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) were used to explore changes in 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) score between (a) pre-pandemic (2019) and early lockdown (April 2020) and (b) early and later (July 2020) lockdown. Results GHQ-12 scores among home-carers were higher pre-lockdown and increased more than for non-carers from 2019 to April 2020 with further increases for home-carers compared with non-carers between April and July. Compared with respondents caring for a spouse/partner, those caring for a child under 18 had a particularly marked increase in GHQ-12 score between 2019 and April, as did those caring for someone with learning difficulties. Home-carers of children under 18 improved from April to July while those caring for adult children saw a marked worsening of their mental health. Home-carers with greater care burden saw larger increases in GHQ-12 score from 2019 to April and from April to July, and increases through both periods were greater for home-carers who had formal help prior to lockdown but then lost it. Conclusions The mental health of home-carers deteriorated more during lockdown than non-carers. Policies that reinstate support for them and their care-recipients will benefit the health of both vulnerable groups.

Last updated on hub: 20 February 2021

Supporting children with disabilities at home during COVID-19: a resource pack for parents and caregivers

Leonard Cheshire Disability

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on how people live their lives in every country around the world. In this context it is very important that the specific needs of children with disabilities are taken into account. This resource pack provides advice and guidance for parents and caregivers on how best to protect and support their children with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Topics covered include: general guidance for parents and caregivers of children with disabilities; supporting children with disabilities to learn at home during the COVID-19 outbreak; safeguarding during COVID-19; communication and access to information for persons with disabilities during COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 17 February 2021

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