COVID-19 resources on Home care

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Home care for patients with COVID-19 presenting with mild symptoms and management of their contacts: interim guidance

World Health Organization

This rapid advice is intended to guide public health and infection prevention and control professionals, health care managers and health care workers when addressing issues related to home care for patients with suspected COVID-19 who present with mild symptoms and when managing their contacts. The guidance is based on evidence about COVID-19 and the feasibility of implementing infection prevention and control measures at home.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Home care professionals’ views on working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Ireland

International Journal of Care and Caring

This article examines home care professionals’ views on working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, it identifies similarities and differences between private, public and non-profit providers. The article seeks to shed light on the impacts of marketisation/privatisation on working conditions during the pandemic. Statistical tests on 350 questionnaires received from care workers in Ireland demonstrate the difficult working conditions during COVID-19 and variations by type of employer. We discuss an apparent ‘return of the state’ in home care provision during the pandemic, which may have dampened differences between types of providers.

Last updated on hub: 31 March 2022

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

Homecare and supported living: a market where Coronavirus is accelerating existing trends

LaingBuisson

LaingBuisson in partnership with Addleshaw Goddard held a conversation about homecare and supported living during the COVID-19 pandemic. Homecare and supported living could be two of the “winners” from coronavirus. This webinar reviewed the new LaingBuisson market report, the market today and the outlook post coronavirus. You can download the slide deck that goes with the webinar here:https://www.laingbuissonevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Webinar-Slides_Homecare-and-Supported-Living-070520.pdf [Webinar recorded 7 May 2020]

Last updated on hub: 22 July 2020

How can patients with COVID-19 and their family or unpaid carers be enabled and supported to manage palliative care treatment safely and effectively at home?

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

A review of the evidence to determine how people with COVID-19 and unpaid carers could be enabled and supported by healthcare professionals to manage palliative care treatment safely and effectively at home. There is a need for prompt, responsive and anticipatory support for carers at home who may be feeling unsure about their role in providing end-of-life care and where to turn to for support and treatment for their relative. Key messages emerging from the literature include: healthcare systems have had to adapt rapidly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic – as a result, some family and unpaid carers may take on additional responsibilities in providing palliative care treatment for patients who have opted to die at home but carers may feel unsure about their role in providing end-of-life care and where to turn for support and treatment for their relative; no empirical research was found that has been conducted during the current COVID-19 pandemic to inform how to support carers of people receiving palliative care at home or to clarify whether this approach is safe for all involved; research assessing the needs of home carers in other palliative care contexts suggests carers may be enabled to manage medication at home, provided that appropriate support and education is given, and that carers have the required capabilities; the use of digital technology can help, but healthcare professionals should be aware that not all carers have access to suitable equipment; providing education for carers, relevant to their caring role, as well as supporting their general wellbeing, can be of benefit – however, providing formal, structured interventions presents considerable challenges during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

How has Covid-19 impacted on care and support at home in Scotland?

Scottish Parliament

Findings from a survey to understand the impact of Covid-19 on care at home services, and what issues the pandemic has highlighted, improved, or made worse. The survey ran from 10 August 2020 to 7 September 2020 and the Committee received over 700 responses, including 415 responses from family members of those receiving care at home and unpaid carers and 93 responses from individuals receiving care at home. Key findings include: there was a reduction of care as a result of the pandemic; care at home staff do not receive the same support or recognition as NHS staff; concern regarding safety mainly related to access to and appropriate use of PPE as well as testing and training of care staff; ensuring continuity of care was the second most important issue to respondents, with concerns around quality and consistency of care as well as the need for designated carers to reduce the number of staff entering homes; the reduction of visits, activities and respite services, and resulting loss of a routine, increased feelings of loneliness and isolation for those in receipt of care and of anxiety, depression and mental exhaustion for unpaid carers; despite a reduction in care being delivered, staff saw increased workloads, with new tasks required as a result of the pandemic such as additional staff training, increased staff meetings and increased paperwork; access to additional support and services (food and prescription deliveries, access to activities and entertainment) and access to hospital, GP services and medical equipment was critically important to respondents; it was felt that one to one communication between services and service users needed to improve. Finally, it was suggested that more needs to be done to listen to the needs of those receiving care and involve them in decision making.

Last updated on hub: 26 November 2020

Impact of COVID-19 policy responses on live-in care workers in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

Journal of Long-Term Care

Context: The measures taken to counter the COVID-19 pandemic restricted the circular migration of live-in care workers between their countries of origin and the elderly persons’ households. Objective: In this comparative policy analysis, the impact of COVID-19 related policy measures for transnationally organised live-in care in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland is investigated. Method: Policy measures and media debates were analysed and inquiries with care workers, representatives of care agencies, unions, and activist groups were carried out between March and June 2020. Findings: In accordance with their institutionalisation of live-in care, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland responded differently to the challenges the pandemic posed to live-in care arrangements. However, all three countries focused on extending care workers’ rotas and re-establishing transnational mobility. These priorities subordinated the interests of care workers to those of care recipients. Furthermore, the measures remained short-term solutions that failed to acknowledge the fundamental flaws and inequalities of a care model that relies primarily on female migrant workers and wage differentials within Europe. Limitations: This policy comparison is based on an in-depth analysis of COVID-19 related policies, supplemented by inquiries among stakeholders with whom research had been done prior to the pandemic. More in-depth interviews are required to further substantiate the findings concerning their perspectives and gain insight into the longer-term effects of the pandemic. Implications: The pandemic has brought the flaws of the live-in care model to the fore. Countries need to rethink their fragile care policies, which build on social inequality and uninhibited transnational mobility.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Infection control e-learning course

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Video-based, easy-to-navigate, essential e-learning to help organisations prevent the spread of infection.

Last updated on hub: 07 May 2020

Infection prevention and control information

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Produced by the team employed by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned to provide infection prevention and control (IPC)services in North Yorkshire covering Health and Social Care settings. Offers bespoke training and consultancy services, as well as an variety of downloadable resources for care homes and home care.

Last updated on hub: 22 July 2020

Informal dementia carers had to make difficult decisions about paid care during COVID-19

National Institute for Health Research

Explores how the first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown affected unpaid carers, and how they made decisions about accessing paid care. This research brings to the fore longstanding problems with care for people living with dementia. These issues include a lack of continuity of paid care, poor monitoring of care staff entering homes, and minimal support for unpaid carers. The research team interviewed 15 unpaid carers by telephone between April and May 2020. All carers had been accessing or trying to access paid home care before the pandemic. All were adult family or friends of someone with dementia. The researchers drew three themes from the interviews: carers felt concerned by the risk of paid carers bringing coronavirus into the home – lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and feeling unprepared to provide additional care heightened these fears; carers had difficult choices to make – many avoided hospitals and other health providers and struggled to weigh up the options of cancelling or continuing paid care and some described real fears of re-obtaining paid care post-COVID if they cancelled during lockdown; and implications for unpaid carers included increased workload and difficulty in accessing food deliveries.

Last updated on hub: 11 January 2021

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