Mitigating the Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Review of International Measures to Support Community-Based Care

Walter D. Dawson, Elizabeth C. Ashcroft, Klara Lorenz-Dant and Adelina Comas-Herrera

New report summarising international measures to support community-based care during the COVID-19 outbreak

Key findings:

  • Community-based care faces unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other parts of the long-term care continuum.
  • Several countries have taken steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections in community-based care including the closure of adult day centres and other service providers.
  • Continuity of care is of upmost importance. A disruption of care and support could have serious negative impacts on individual health and well-being due to increased risk of loneliness and social isolation.
  • The dispersed nature of community based care suggests that direct governmental action and oversight may be more difficult to provide than for residential care settings such as care homes or nursing facilities.
  • Efforts to maintain continuity of care in community-based care include government financial support to home care workers; recruitment of volunteers and family members to act as paid carers; and the provision of remote psychological supports to home care workers. 
  • Some countries have taken steps to move patients and home care workers to residential care settings. The redistribution of home care workers and individuals in need of care to residential care settings is likely to produce unintended results and may not be a suitable option for all populations such as persons living with dementia.
  • Few countries are specifically reporting data on infections and deaths among users of home care. An exception to this is Australia.
  • Overall evidence of national measures to support community-based care is still lacking for most countries.

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