COVID-19 resources on Home care

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Key measures for infection prevention and control: a guide for social care workers providing care in an individual’s home

Scottish Social Services Council

This guide highlights essential practical actions to support good infection control practice during COVID-19, particularly hand and cough hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE). It signposts some of the key measures care workers will need to protect themselves and others when providing care and support for people, including those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The guide is for social care workers providing support and care to people living in their own homes; particularly care at home and housing support workers, referred to as ‘domiciliary care’ in the national guidance. It acknowledges that many of the people they support may be in the shielding category.

Last updated on hub: 18 September 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

COVID-19 mortality and long-term care: a UK comparison

International Long-term Care Policy Network

This article reviews the path of the COVID-19 pandemic across the UK long-term care (LTC) sector, indicating how it evolved in each of the four home nations. It prefaces this with a description of LTC across the UK, its history and the difficulties encountered in establishing a satisfactory policy for the care of frail older people across the home nations. The analysis indicates that throughout the pandemic, 54,510 COVID-19 related deaths were registered in the UK, across all age groups and all locations of death. Of these, 17,127 (31%) occurred within care homes and at least 21,775 (40%) were accounted for by care home residents. In terms of excess deaths (measured against the average weekly deaths during the previous 5-year period) during the pandemic England had a 38% increase in mortality compared with 29% in Scotland, 22% in Wales, and 20% in Northern Ireland. England is the only UK nation that has released COVID-19 mortality data on those receiving care at home. That data show that throughout the pandemic period there were a large number of excess deaths in the domiciliary setting. The majority of which were not recorded as being COVID-19 related. Overall, the English data demonstrate that, compared to care homes, the overall proportional increase in deaths was greater in the domiciliary setting.

Last updated on hub: 10 September 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE): care workers delivering homecare during the Covid-19 response

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch

This national intelligence report provides insight into a current safety risk that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has identified, relating to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by care workers when visiting a patient at home. It documents how concerns raised by HSIB were responded to by Public Health England, the body responsible for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of PPE. The report finds that there are multiple Covid-19 guidelines for different care sectors. PPE guidelines should be used in conjunction with other guidelines, such as infection control guidelines, so that care providers can develop protocols for care delivery. This is challenging when guidelines are updated, or new guidelines are issued and there is a risk that guidance may be missed. The report argues that there is an opportunity to introduce a document management system for guidelines to ensure that the latest information is available. This would involve the design of a usable navigation system so that all related guidelines relevant to a particular care sector are visible and can be checked for completeness.

Last updated on hub: 01 September 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

Local government efforts to mitigate the novel coronavirus pandemic among older adults

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

As the coronavirus crisis spreads swiftly through the population, it takes a particularly heavy toll on minority individuals and older adults, with older minority adults at especially high risk. Given the shockingly high rates of infections and deaths in nursing homes, staying in the community appears to be a good option for older adults in this crisis, but in order for some older adults to do so much assistance is required. This situation draws attention to the need for benevolent intervention on the part of the state should older adults become ill or lose their sources of income and support during the crisis. This essay provides a brief overview of public support and the financial and health benefits for older individuals who remain in the community during the pandemic. It reports the case example of Austin, Texas, a city with a rapidly aging and diverse population of almost a million residents, to ask how we can assess the success of municipalities in responding to the changing needs of older adults in the community due to COVID-19. It concludes with a discussion of what governmental and non-governmental leadership can accomplish in situations such as that brought about by the current crisis.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

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

Care Provider Alliance Coronavirus (COVID-19) directory

Care Provider Alliance

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) are collating and signposting to the latest guidance and advice from reliable sources on their website. The resource includes news, guidance and information. The site is updated frequently.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Dementia and COVID-19: social contact

Alzheimer's Society

This briefing sets out the evidence for action to support social contact for people living with dementia and what the Government need to do next. It covers: the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia in the UK; the importance of social contact for people living with dementia; maintaining social contact in care homes; supporting the delivery of home care services. The briefing observes that as well as the severe impact of COVID-19 itself, restrictions under lockdown have imposed a lack of social contact and interaction which are known to be contributing factor in the decline of people with dementia. The paper calls on the Government to lead a task force with Local Authorities and expert groups to address how they will support people with dementia as the country emerges from the lockdown over the next 6-12 months, with social contact at the heart of the solution. Specific recommendations for both care homes and home care are included.

Last updated on hub: 10 August 2020

Adult social care and COVID-19: assessing the impact on social care users and staff in England so far

The Health Foundation

An overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social care in England, describing how the pandemic unfolded in the social care sector from March until June 2020, and examining the factors that contributed to the scale and severity of outbreaks in care homes. The briefing also attempts to quantify the disruption to health and social care access from February until the end of April 2020. The findings demonstrate that the pandemic has had a profound impact on people receiving and providing social care in England – since March, there have been more than 30,500 deaths among care home residents than it would be normally expected, and a further 4,500 excess deaths among people receiving care in their own homes (domiciliary care); and while deaths in care homes have now returned to average levels for this time of year, the latest data (up until 19 June) shows that there have continued to be excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users. Social care workers are among the occupational groups at highest risk of COVID-19 mortality, with care home workers and home carers accounting for the highest proportion (76%) of COVID-19 deaths within this group. The analysis also shows that there was a substantial reduction in hospital admissions among care home residents which may have helped reduce the risk of transmission but potentially increased unmet health needs. The briefing argues that long-standing structural issues have exacerbated the crisis in social care and hindered the response to the pandemic. It suggests that action is needed now to prevent further harm including by filling the gaps in data, particularly for those receiving domiciliary care, and by developing a new data strategy for social care.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

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