COVID-19 resources on Home care

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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. Personal assistants should repeat lateral flow testing twice each week. This guidance has been replaced by 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for anyone working in adult social care who are not part of regular testing at work and unpaid carers'.

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

medRxiv

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

Overview of feedback from the social care sector: CIW check-in calls with providers of registered services for adults and children

Care Inspectorate Wales

This document provides an overview of the CIW ‘check-in’ calls from 30 March until 26 July where inspectors had 10,045 conversations with registered social care services in Wales about how they were managing the impact of COVID-19. The main themes drawn from responses are: the importance of a rights-based approach, ensuring people receiving social care, and their families or advocates, are involved in decision making; recognising, and minimising as far as possible, the impact not being able to see family and friends has on the mental well-being of many people; the importance of having a co-ordinated communication strategy that minimises duplication and clearly highlights key issues and changes to guidance; ongoing access to infection prevention and control training and support; ensuring easy access to sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), with clarity about its use; ensuring easy access to testing with a timely turnaround of results; the importance of support networks for managers and care workers recognising the isolation of the many small providers in Wales; the importance of continuity of staffing because of increased risk of agency staff transmitting the virus if they are working across different services; and recognising that providers are partners in care especially in relation to hospital discharge, as are family members, for many people.

Last updated on hub: 02 February 2021

Factors associated with COVID-19 in care homes and domiciliary care, and effectiveness of interventions: a rapid review

Public Health England

The purpose of this rapid review was to identify and assess direct evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic on factors associated with COVID-19 in care homes and domiciliary care, and interventions to minimise the extent of COVID-19. 22 studies were identified, 13 (4 preprints) examining factors associated with the transmission of COVID-19 in care homes and 9 (3 preprints) examining the effectiveness of interventions (search up to 31 August 2020). No studies reported on domiciliary care. The review shows that multiple observational studies have consistently reported the use of temporary staffing and the movement of staff between different care homes, lack of sick pay provision for care home staff, ‘for profit’ ownership (US-based studies), lower quality ratings, and lower levels of trained nurses (amongst other factors) as being associated with increased levels of COVID-19. There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of interventions, and available evidence is weak. Routine testing with early intervention (1 study) and voluntary staff confinement (1 study) were associated with lower COVID-19 and descriptive studies reported the use of multiple consecutive strategies. Further research is needed, and studies that better infer causality.

Last updated on hub: 02 February 2021

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