Direct and Indirect Effects of COVID-19 on Long-Term Care Residents and Their Family Members

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Guy Meschiany

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The first cases of COVID-19 in Israel were reported in February 2020. Family visits were prohibited from March 10, 2020, and then allowed on a limited basis on April 20, 2020. This article examines how COVID-19 impacted long-term care residents and their family members from the perspective of long-term care facility (LTCF) administrative staff. Methods: An online survey was sent to Israeli LTCF administrators between mid-July and mid-October 2020, resulting in 52 completed questionnaires. Quantitative analysis involved descriptive statistics using SPSS, with differences compared via t tests, ANOVA, and χ tests. Qualitative analysis involved thematic analysis of responses to open-ended questions. Results: COVID-19 was reported to have multiple types of negative impact on residents, including direct effects on morbidity and mortality as well as indirect effects manifested as negative reactions to measures aimed at limiting infection, including isolation from relatives, decreased activities for residents, and COVID-19 testing. The impact of isolation on LTCF residents was reported as negative or very negative by over three-quarters of the respondents. Behavioral problems among residents increased in 32% of the facilities. The qualitative results suggested that adverse effects on residents and family members were partially mitigated by the use of communication technologies. Discussion/Conclusion: The interplay of multiple factors affected LTCF residents against the backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions. The emergence of mitigating factors which provide solutions to some of the challenges has the potential of improving quality of care for LTCF residents as the pandemic continues and thereafter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-816
Number of pages9
JournalGerontology
Volume68
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Minerva Foundation

    Keywords

    • Behavioral issues for older adults
    • COVID-19 restrictions
    • Isolation of older adults
    • Israel
    • Nursing homes

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