COVID-19 resources on Home care

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Survey of NCF membership: impact of the Omicron variant

National Care Forum

Findings from a survey of NCF Membership on the impact of the Omicron variant, suggesting an increase in the pressures facing the social care sector as a result of the new variant compounded by the limitations of government support on the frontline. 66% of the homecare providers responding are now having to refuse new requests for home care and 43% of providers of care homes are closing to new admissions, while 21% of providers of home care are handing back existing care packages. Overall, the providers responding reported 18% vacancy rate and 14% absence as a result of the Omicron variant. While the absence rate may be temporary, the vacancy rate has been well documented as growing at an alarming rate over the last six months and has been compounded by other policy decisions such as mandating vaccines as a condition of deployment.

Last updated on hub: 25 January 2022

Surviving the pandemic: new challenges for adult social care and the social care market. Discussion paper

Institute of Public Care

This discussion paper looks at how councils have avoided the predicted collapse over the period of austerity and highlights new problems that have emerged during the coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic. Drawing on the authors previous papers, it explores these new problems facing providers of care homes and home care, and asks how the care provider sector can survive after the pandemic. It identifies the risk to the care provider market and the need for councils to find ways of managing increased demand.

Last updated on hub: 06 May 2020

Temporary funding for adult social care providers during the Covid-19 Crisis

Local Government Association

This joint statement from the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services focuses on stabilising the adult social care market during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It provides a framework for the consideration of the locally determined temporary funding of social care providers during the Covid-19 crisis and provides information to help councils who have not yet been able to agree what level of temporary additional support providers in their local area will need.

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic as experienced by the spouses of home-dwelling people with dementia – a qualitative study

BMC Geriatrics

Background: Worldwide, restrictive measures have been taken to manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and self-isolation have considerably affected the lives of people with dementia and their informal caregivers. The purpose of the study was to explore the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic as experienced by the spouses of home-dwelling people with dementia in Norway. Methods: The study had a qualitative descriptive design using individual telephone interviews for data collection. A total sample of 17 spouses of people with dementia were included, 14 women and three men ages 52 to 82 years. A qualitative content analysis following six steps inspired by Graneheim and Lundman was used to identify the categories presented. Results: The participants emphasized four main perspectives: 1) Radical changes in available services, 2) Restrictions changed everyday life, 3) Impacts on health and well-being, and 4) Actions that made life easier. The participants also described how positive activities and easily accessible services helped them in this situation. Conclusions: The governmental restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in radical changes in available services with severe consequences for the lives and well-being of home-dwelling people with dementia and their spouses. Examples of coping strategies and possible psychosocial interventions compatible with virus precautions were identified. The potential of such interventions should be further explored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups in situations like a pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic: the evaluation of the emergency remote parent training program based on at-home support for children with down syndrome

Children and Youth Services Review

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of emergency remote training programs for young children with Down syndrome, learning difficulties, and severe health problems and their parents became a requirement. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of the “applied emergency remote training program”, prepared to address the needs of parents with children with Down syndrome and to offer them at-home support. It is an evaluative case study conducted with 11 parents of 11-35 months old children with Down syndrome. The findings demonstrated that the program could be conducted in a home environment, it improved the interactional behavior of both parents and children, reduced the number of difficult routines, and was considered as an educational, instructive, and band-aid solution. Issues such as the development of systematic psycho-social support systems that increase full participation and motivation of parents in distance education programs are important during extreme times such as the pandemic. Difficulties in online data collection, the employment of coaching and counseling systems in information maintenance, individualization of the program, the improvement of the interactivity in the program, and the development of applied training programs on different topics still wait for a solution.

Last updated on hub: 07 March 2022

The demographics and economics of direct care staff highlight their vulnerabilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

An estimated 3.5 million direct care staff working in facilities and people’s homes play a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic. They allow vulnerable care recipients to stay at home and they provide necessary help in facilities. Direct care staff, on average, have decades of experience, often have certifications and licenses, and many have at least some college education to help them perform the myriad of responsibilities to properly care for care recipients. Yet, they are at heightened health and financial risks. They often receive low wages, limited benefits, and have few financial resources to fall back on when they get sick themselves and can no longer work. Furthermore, most direct care staff are parents with children in the house and almost one-fourth are single parents. If they fall ill, both they and their families are put into physical and financial risk.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The need for community practice to support aging in place during COVID-19

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted systems that support older adults, including older adults aging in their own homes and communities. While much of the calls for gerontological social work practice in response have rightfully focused on direct service provision for health care and basic needs, innovative responses from advocacy and professional organizations, as well as grassroots community groups, have demonstrated the importance of community practice in aging as well. Social work leadership in aging and communities is especially important for addressing issues of equity, inclusion, and meaningful participation across diverse stakeholder groups as local and regional authorities, as well as grassroots groups and community-based organizations, respond to the pandemic. Heightened involvement of social workers in leading place-based communities during this crucial moment has the potential to address long-standing issues within systems to support aging in place and healthy aging, especially with and on behalf of those most directly disadvantaged from multiple forms of injustice.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The practical steps local authorities are taking to support local social care providers

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

This summary sets out some of the measures that local authorities have put in place to support care home and home care providers, ensure their stability and safeguard care and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on the financial support and practical support being offered to social care providers.

Last updated on hub: 29 May 2020

The safe use of medication during the COVID-19 pandemic

Scottish Social Services Council

A guide for social care workers supporting people at home or in a care home. It offers support, information and resources for social care workers who have the responsibility to carry out one or more of the following types of support: prompt – remind someone to take their medication using their preferred communication method; assist – help someone who manages their own medication with physical tasks like opening bottles, at their request; administer medication – prepare the right medication, at the right time and support a person to take it in the right way in line with their care or support plan and advice from the prescriber or pharmacist.

Last updated on hub: 18 September 2020

Time to reflect is a rare and valued opportunity; a pilot of the NIDUS-professional dementia training intervention for homecare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic

Health and Social Care in the Community

Most people living with dementia want to continue living in their own home for as long as possible and many rely on support from homecare services to do so. There are concerns that homecare often fails to meet the needs of clients with dementia, but there is limited evidence regarding effective interventions to improve its delivery for this client group. We aimed to assess whether a co-designed, 6-session dementia training intervention for homecare workers (NIDUS-professional) was acceptable and feasible. Facilitated training sessions were delivered over 3 months, followed by 3, monthly implementation meetings to embed changes in practice. Two trained and supervised facilitators without clinical qualifications delivered the intervention via group video-calls during Oct 2020–March 2021 to a group of seven homecare workers from one agency in England. Participants provided qualitative feedback 3- and 6-months post intervention. Qualitative interview data and facilitator notes were integrated in a thematic analysis. Adherence to the intervention and fidelity of delivery were high, indicating that it was acceptable and feasible to deliver in practice. Thirty of a possible 42 (71.4%) group sessions were attended. This thematic analysis reports one over-arching theme: ‘Having time and space to reflect is a rare opportunity’. Within this, this study identified four subthemes (Having time to reflect is a rare opportunity; Reflecting with peers enhances learning; Reflection and perspective taking can improve care; Recognising skills and building confidence) through which this study explored how participants valued the intervention to discuss their work and learn new skills. Attendance was lower for the implementation sessions, perhaps reflecting participants’ lack of clarity about their purpose. The findings were used to consider how we can maintain positive impacts of the manualised sessions, so that these are translated into tangible, scalable benefits for people living with dementia and the homecare workforce. A randomised feasibility trial is underway.

Last updated on hub: 07 March 2022

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