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Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: Video Calling For Connecting with Family Residing in Nursing Homes

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... Transitional visitation strategies, such as virtual visits, ensued, and while they provided a means for interaction between residents and their family members, many participants reported the limited emotional connection that characterised their visits. A mixed-method study investigating "video calling" in nursing homes in the Netherlands highlighted similar trends in perspectives, as participants reported missing physical contact with their loved ones when solely relying on these virtual strategies [56]. Furthermore, many participants complained about window visits and how the windows precluded having meaningful conversations with the residents. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the lives and well-being of long-term care home residents. This mixed-method study examined the health equity implications of the COVID-19 lockdown and visitation strategies in long-term care homes in Ontario. We recruited long-term care home residents, their family members and designated caregivers, as well as healthcare workers from 235 homes in Ontario, Canada. We used online surveys and virtual interviews to assess the priority, feasibility, and acceptability of visitation strategies, and to explore the lived experiences of participants under the lockdown and thereafter. A total of n = 201 participants completed a survey and a purposive sample of n = 15 long-term care home residents and their family members completed an interview. The initial lockdown deteriorated residents’ physical, mental, and cognitive well-being, and disrupted family and community ties. Transitional visitation strategies, such as virtual visits, were criticised for lack of emotional value and limited feasibility. Designated caregiver programs emerged as a prioritised and highly acceptable strategy, one that residents and family members demanded continuous and unconditional access to. Our findings suggest a series of equity implications that highlight a person-centred approach to visitation strategies and promote emotional connection between residents and their loved ones.
... [20] Different digital platforms to connect family members to older adults residing in nursing homes are proven to have positive effects on the patients, mainly those with dementia, due to social contact. [22] Meuldijka et al. reported that the service of online and telehealth interventions in older people's mental health in Australia faced certain challenges during the pandemic, including disruption of services and burden on staff. The barriers therein included privacy concerns, lack of access to technology and poor knowledge thereof, and reservations in patients and the staff regarding telehealth. ...
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Older people with psychiatric illnesses face unique challenges in terms of clinical, sociocultural, and environmental factors. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFw, GOI), has released telemedicine guidelines in April 2020, closely followed by a telepsychiatry operational guidelines as a collaborative effort of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, and the MoHFw, GOI. The current article presents a critical analysis of the provisions in these guidelines relevant to psychogeriatric care. The gray areas in the existing protocols which may hamper their applicability and accessibility in older adults include digital connectivity, continuity of care, patient autonomy and capacity assessment, medical comorbidities, evaluation of dementia, confidentiality, and teleconsultations in the institutionalized elderly. Preexisting challenges are seen to be compounded by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, in addition to the onset of newer psychosocial and clinical adversities. The article also highlights certain recommendations for possible modifications of the guidelines in future. The telepsychiatry guidelines provide a paradigm shift in mental health care. However, the lacunae involved in the care of vulnerable groups such as the geriatric population based on these guidelines need to be reconsidered by all levels of stakeholders supported by evidence-based research.
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Background The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) which was previously known as 2019-novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported in Wuhan,China in December, 2019. As at today the disease has evolved into a serious global emergency leading to its declaration as a pandemic recently. Body On the African continent, Nigeria is just experiencing the direct effects of this pandemic having recorded her index case in February, 2020 with an increasing number of cases by the day and current case fatality ratio of 0.03 as at 13 April, 2020. Although the recorded cases may albeit seem low, it has been forecasted that Africa will have a fair share of the worst effects of this disease by the end of the pandemic. Generally, African countries have fragile health systems and this remains a source of concern especially in the event of increased outbreaks. Nigeria's current national health systems cannot effectively respond to the growing needs of already infected patients requiring admission into Intensive care units (ICUs) for Acute Respiratory Diseases (ARDs) and SARS COV-2 pnuemonia. This has grim implications for Nigeria especially as increased cases that may require critical care looms. The provision of quarantine or isolation facilities can also be a challenge in Africa and availability of rapid diagnostic kits for fast and reliable testing and diagnosis of the disease. Conclusion There is an urgent need to put in perspective the realities peculiar to Nigeria, and explore available collective measures and interventions to address the Coronavirus pandemic.
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Background Long-term care facilities are high-risk settings for severe outcomes from outbreaks of Covid-19, owing to both the advanced age and frequent chronic underlying health conditions of the residents and the movement of health care personnel among facilities in a region. Methods After identification on February 28, 2020, of a confirmed case of Covid-19 in a skilled nursing facility in King County, Washington, Public Health–Seattle and King County, aided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, launched a case investigation, contact tracing, quarantine of exposed persons, isolation of confirmed and suspected cases, and on-site enhancement of infection prevention and control. Results As of March 18, a total of 167 confirmed cases of Covid-19 affecting 101 residents, 50 health care personnel, and 16 visitors were found to be epidemiologically linked to the facility. Most cases among residents included respiratory illness consistent with Covid-19; however, in 7 residents no symptoms were documented. Hospitalization rates for facility residents, visitors, and staff were 54.5%, 50.0%, and 6.0%, respectively. The case fatality rate for residents was 33.7% (34 of 101). As of March 18, a total of 30 long-term care facilities with at least one confirmed case of Covid-19 had been identified in King County. Conclusions In the context of rapidly escalating Covid-19 outbreaks, proactive steps by long-term care facilities to identify and exclude potentially infected staff and visitors, actively monitor for potentially infected patients, and implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures are needed to prevent the introduction of Covid-19.
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Background Many elderly persons in Nigeria are having mental health challenges and there is a lack of commensurate increase in services to attend to such. Aim To assess the prevalence, pattern and correlates of psychiatric morbidity among community dwelling elderly persons (≥ 60 years) in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Methods 532 respondents were selected using a multistage, stratified cluster sampling method from the elderly population in Abeokuta. First, participants were administered the socio-demographic questionnaire, General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Those with a score of ≥ 3 in GHQ-12 were assessed with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI PLUS), while those with ≤ 16 in MMSE were assessed with the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) IV criteria for Dementia and the Petersen’s criteria for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Results 36.3% of the respondents had a probable psychological disorder, while 25.4% had a probable cognitive impairment. 9.8% had a current definitive psychiatric disorder. The commonest disorders were major depressive disorder and dementia. The female gender, the oldest old (≥ 80 years), having a chronic medical illness and bereavement in the last 1 year were most significantly associated with having mental health problems. Conclusion A significant number of the elderly population in the studied community suffers from a psychiatric illness. It is hoped that studies as these will inform stakeholders on the need to pay closer attention to the mental health needs of the elderly, as their overall wellbeing plays a role in determining the overall health of the community.
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Population aging is among the most important global transformations. Today, 12% of the world population is of age 60 and over and by the middle of this century this segment will represent 21.5%. The increase in population of those aged 80 and over, also referred to as the “oldest old” or the “very elderly”, will be even more pronounced, going from 1.7% of the population to 4.5% within the same period. Compared to European and North American countries, Latin America (LA) is experiencing this unprecedented demographic change at a significantly faster rate. Due to demographic and health transitions, the number of people with dementia will rise from 7.8 million in 2013 to over 27 million by 2050. Nowadays, the global prevalence of dementia in LA has reached 7.1%, with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) being the most frequent type. This level is similar to those found in developed countries; however, the dementia rate is twice as high as that of the 65–69 years age group in developed countries. In addition, the prevalence and incidence of dementia is higher among illiterate people. Mortality rates due to dementia have risen considerably. The burden and costs of the disease are high and must be covered by patients’ families. The prevention of dementia and the development of long-term care policies and plans for people with dementia in LA, which take into account regional differences and similarities, should be urgent priorities.
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Background Effective delivery of healthcare services requires availability of adequate infrastructure, diagnostic medical equipment, drugs and well-trained medical personnel. In Nigeria, poor funding and mismanagement often characterize healthcare service delivery thereby affecting coverage and quality of healthcare services. Therefore, the state of service delivery in Nigeria’s health sector has come under some persistent criticisms. This paper analyzed service readiness of Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in Nigeria with focus on availability of some essential drugs and medical equipment. Methods Service Delivery Indicator (SDI) data for PHC in Nigeria were used. The data were collected from 2480 healthcare facilities from 12 states in the Nigeria’s 6 geopolitical zones between 2013 and 2014. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Ordinary Least Square regression. ResultsMedical disposables such as hand gloves and male condoms were reported to be available in 77.18 and 44.03% of all the healthcare facilities respectively, while immunization services were provided by 86.57%. Functional stethoscopes were reported by 77.22% of the healthcare facilities, while only 68.10% had sphygmomanometers. In the combined healthcare facilities, availability of some basic drugs such as Azithromycin, Nifedipine, Dexamethasone and Misoprostol was low with 10.48, 25.20, 21.94 and 17.06%, respectively, while paracetamol and folic acid both had high availability with 74.31%. Regression results showed that indices of drug and medical equipment availability increased significantly (p < 0.05) among states in southern Nigeria and with presence of some power sources (electricity, generators, batteries and solar), but decreased among dispensaries/health posts. Travel time to headquarters and rural facilities significantly reduced indices of equipment availability (p < 0.05). Conclusion It was concluded that for Nigeria to ensure better equity in access to healthcare facilities, which would facilitate achievement of some health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs), quality of services at its healthcare facilities should be improved. Given some differences between availability of basic medical equipment and their functionality, and lack of some basic drugs, proper inventory of medical services should be taken with effort put in place to increase funding and ensure proper management of healthcare resources.
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Telehealth is becoming mainstream in the U.S., as more consumers, employers, hospital systems, and even insurers adopt the technology. The authors explore the challenges of regulation, reimbursement, and licensing as the modality evolves.
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As we look toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we overview challenges to be minimized, including economic setbacks, health and well-being effects, and highlighted ageism, racism, and classism. We articulate opportunities to be seized, including increased comfort with technology and online platforms; stronger family and intergenerational connections, renewed energy to combat social isolation; more respect for self-care and time management; increased awareness about the importance of advance directives; and, potentially, increased interest across disciplines to work on issues of aging society. Ongoing efforts to improve policies and programs for longer, healthier lives might now be more productive, as we communicate to consumers, public officials, and everyday citizens who may be more aware of what isn’t working, what is at stake, and what might be improved.
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