The impact of quarantine restrictions on people living in aged care facilities during the COVID19 pandemic

Presenter: Jackie Robinson (University of Auckland)

Abstract for the International workshop on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care systems: What have we learnt and what policies do we need to strengthen LTC systems?, 6 and 7th December 2021

Abstract:

With the increasing risk of mortality for the frail older person and the devastating effects seen in aged residential care internationally as a result of the COVID19 virus, visitors to aged residential care facilities have been severely restricted in New Zealand. Restrictions were tightened as the need to institute droplet precautions and full quarantine of residents during outbreaks took effect.  Quarantine in this instance refers to restricting residents to their room, avoiding all contact with other residents, and limiting contact with nursing staff. There is considerable evidence that social and physical isolation can be result in rapid functional and cognitive decline in frail older people.  The aim of this mixed methods study was to explore the impact of quarantine on functional, emotional and cognitive wellbeing in residents of aged care facilities during the COVID19 pandemic. With a focus on indicators of well-being, phase 1 consisted of an analysis of data from interRAI assessments made prior to and after a period of quarantine. Semi-structured interviews with facility staff, residents and family were undertaken in phase 2. This presentation will provide an overview of preliminary findings which highlights the impact of quarantine and isolation restrictions on residents, staff and family during a COVID19 outbreak in one aged care facility in Auckland, New Zealand.

Co-authors and affiliations:

Dr Jackie Robinson¹ ²

Dr Michal Boyd¹

Professor Merryn Gott¹

¹ Faculty of Medical Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

² Community and Long Term Conditions Directorate, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand

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