New report: COVID-19 and clients of Long-Term Care in Finland – impact and measures to control the virus

Leena Forma, Mari Aaltonen, Jutta Pulkki

Key Findings:

  • Finland has succeeded in protecting people aged 70 years and over from coronavirus in general, but almost half of the 318 deaths in the country have occurred in care homes for older people (situation on 1st June). However, it is likely that all deaths from COVID-19 have not been recognised and classified similarly.
  • There are remarkable regional differences in the spread of the infection. However, the national guidelines for restrictions are similar throughout the country.
  • The national level guidelines have been more detailed and clearer for care homes than for home care.
  • The implementation of the measures to prevent the infection has varied between municipalities, however, most of the municipalities have acted vigorously regarding the prevention of the virus and followed the given instructions.
  • Family caregivers and their disabled family members living at private homes face more mental, physical and social problems the longer the isolation continues. The need for support services in isolation will not disappear and may even increase.
  • In care homes, visiting restrictions have in some cases led to anxiety concerning family members. In exposure cases, some of the residents have had relatively long periods of isolation, during which mobility within the care unit is limited. Therefore, attempts have been made to prevent a possible deterioration in mental well-being, for example by providing video calls and photographs to the residents.

Leave a Reply