RESEARCH PROJECTS view all projects →

An inquiry into the lived experience of COVID-19 in the home care sector in Ireland: the clients experience

Project status
Jamie Farrelly
Institution web page
Host institution
Home and Community Care Ireland
Team members
Jamie Farrelly Dr Tina Benedik Joseph Musgrave
Funding information (if funded)
Project Summary

This research is a qualitative study on the impact of Covid-19 on home care clients in Ireland. Through 9 interviews, HCCI explored the mental, physical and social impact of Covid-19 and the coping mechanisms used during the pandemic. This research is a client centered study that builds on previous HCCI research on home care providers experience during Covid-19.

The study finds that robust infection prevention and control measures provided safety and reassurance to clients, allowing most home care to continue uninterrupted and kept cases low relative to acute hospitals and long term residential care facilities.

The need for clients to cocoon in theirs homes and the closure of recreational and day services resulted in clients expressing social isolation and a strain on their mental well-being.

Clients were unable to exercise to the same extent and felt a loss of motivation. The long term effects of sedentary behavior are well documented and the long term physical effects of Covid-19 needs further research.

To cope, clients pointed to personal relationships with family, friends, neighbours and carers as a source of comfort and companionship.

Clients used technology and the internet to facilitate social connections. The internet was popular for online shopping, video games and digital content.

Participants spoke about the importance of keeping a positive mindset when coping with the pandemic. They demonstrated commendable mental resilience and adaptability, developed through their life experiences, bereavements, illness, and religious faith.

In conclusion, the IPC measures put in place by providers reassured participants that their home was safe and helped make home care the safest method of care during Covid-19 Pandemic. While cocooning and social isolation placed a mental strain on participants, personal relationships, technology and a positive mentality helped them adapt and persevere


Outputs / Expected Outputs

There are several recommendations emerging from this research. Clients should receive a full medical check-up, with social and care services reopened with additional capacity. HSE and providers should build on increased digital literacy and introduce new technology to improve quality of life and standard of care. Home care is established as the safest and most preferential method of care. The Statutory Home Care Scheme should be implemented as a matter of urgency and should include a holistic, patient centred model of care.

Project website




Care setting
Funding type
| | | | | | | |
Intervention types
| |

An inquiry into the lived experience of COVID-19 in the home care sector in Ireland: the clients experience