COVID-19 resources on Home care

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Informal home care providers: the forgotten health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lancet

Editorial states that during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, informal home care provision and challenges faced by care providers, excluding those who are formal and paid, in the home context have largely been overlooked. Also makes the point that in public health emergencies, informal home care providers are a crucial human resource that improves the community’s health-care capacity, especially in regions with an ageing population and areas with suboptimal health-care systems. The comment piece suggests that for home care to better support health needs during extreme events, urgent research related to social and economic impacts of home care is needed to update policies and improve health support programmes. The piece also provides a list of research priorities relevant to informal home care providers.

Last updated on hub: 20 June 2020

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

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

Local government and Covid-19: social care, a neglected service

Local Government Information Unit

This briefing looks at the state of the social care sector pre-pandemic and the impact that the virus has had on care homes and domiciliary care. There were over 4,000 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes England in the two weeks up to 28 April – over four times the number recorded in residential and nursing homes up to that point and it is not clear whether the virus has yet reached its peak in this sector. The social care sector has been underfunded and under-valued by successive governments and was in a parlous state before the pandemic took hold. The briefing discusses: rates of infections and deaths in social care settings; continuing concerns about lack of adequate PPE provision to both care homes and domiciliary care providers; lack of testing for both care workers and residents/clients and what this means for the safety of social care provision; the additional costs of COVID-19 on local authorities and care providers in an already underfunded and unstable sector; and the lessons that can be learnt.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 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

Long-term care at home and female work during the COVID-19 pandemic

Health Policy

This study analyzes the impacts of COVID-19 on two elements: long-term care at home, which is available for care recipients who live in their own home, and working status in Japan. A regression analysis of municipality data reveals that the number of users of adult daycare is negatively correlated to COVID-19, both nationally and regionally. This finding is intuitive because people avoid daycare due to the increased risk of exposure to infection. However, the number of users of home care is positively correlated to users of daycare, which implies that home care has not functioned as a replacement for daycare, despite government encouragement. Furthermore, a regression analysis using prefecture data shows that working hours for both females and males were negatively correlated to the national status of the pandemic, while the regional status of the pandemic was negatively correlated only to female working hours. This implies that female labor status is more vulnerable to such outbreaks in Japan. Also, this study finds consistent results with a situation in which informal care compensated for the decline in daycare use; and this care has been provided primarily by especially females who have reduced their working hours by COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 02 July 2021

LTCcovid International living report on Covid-19 and long-term care

London School of Economics and Political Science

This live report has been compiled collaboratively by researchers on Long-Term Care all over the world. It aims to: provide an overview of long-term care systems around the world; assess how the people who use and provide long-term care have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; describe the measures adopted to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic in the long-term care sector; compile actions and reforms that countries are adopting to strengthen their care systems and be better prepared for future pandemics and shocks. This report does not seek to provide detailed or comprehensive information for each country, but instead aims to summarise key reports and articles and point the reader towards those. It builds on the country reports previously published in this website, as well as other more recent sources. It is being developed collaboratively, by answering a list of questions for as many countries as possible and updating as new information and research become available.

Last updated on hub: 16 February 2022

Making vaccination a condition of deployment in health and wider social care sector: government response to public consultation

Department of Health and Social Care

Government’s response to a consultation on whether or not the government should extend the existing statutory requirement, for those responsible for care homes to ensure that they have evidence that those working or volunteering in a care home have been vaccinated against COVID-19, to other health and care settings, as a condition of deployment. DHSC undertook thorough analysis of the more than 34,900 consultation responses and considered the feedback received. Overall, the consultation showed that, while a majority of respondents (65%) did not support the proposal, the responses from the health and social care sector were mixed, with some groups (for example managers of healthcare or social care services) mostly supporting the proposed legislative change while others (for example service users and relatives of service users) were mostly opposed. However, in order to help protect people receiving health and social care, who may be more clinically vulnerable to COVID-19, the government will be introducing regulations to only allow providers of CQC-regulated activities, including hospitals, GP practices, and where care is delivered in a person’s home, to deploy individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to roles where they interact with patients and service users. These regulations will require workers who have direct, face to face contact with service users to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated, subject to limited exceptions.

Last updated on hub: 10 November 2021

Mencap in Kirklees: provider responsiveness

Mencap in Kirklees

Practice example about how Mencap in Kirklees has responded during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to provide day care services, domiciliary care and residential care for adults with learning disabilities. Also covers some of the challenges and learning points.

Last updated on hub: 16 July 2020

Mid-year 2020-21 adult social care activity

NHS Digital

Local Authorities are part of the front line of organisations dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in England. This management information is not looking directly at the response to the crisis. Instead, it aims to give users some insight into the impact of the pandemic on the ongoing statutory duties of local authorities to provide assessments, support and funding for the appropriate level of social care needed by its adult population, and to safeguard its citizens from abuse or deprivations of liberty. Data was collected from local authorities on a voluntary basis, to a shorter timeline than usual and without much of the comprehensive data quality assurance usually in place for the equivalent annual data collections. Key facts include: coverage – 81% of local authorities in England provided data to this one-off, voluntary data collection; long term support – the number of clients in receipt of long term social care support at the end of March 2020 was lower than the previous year, and this decreased further in the first half of 2020-21; safeguarding activity – there appears to have been a slight increase of approximately 4% in the total number of safeguarding concerns raised to local authorities so far this year, compared to half the annual total from 2019-20, and a c.9% decrease in the enquiries that commenced in the period; DoLS applications – fewer applications for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were received by local authorities in the first half of 2020-21 (a decrease of 3.3% compared to the first half of 2019-20, following many years of increasing volumes). The number of applications completed also fell, by 16.5%, compared to the first half of 2019-20.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

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