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How long-term dementia care facilities in South Africa have coped with the COVID-19 lockdown

Project status
Marguerite Schneider
Host institution
Alan J Flisher centre for Public Mental Health, University of Cape Town
Team members
Dr Alice Ashwell Roxanne Jacobs Dr Sumaiyah Docrat A/prof Marguerite Schneider
Funding information (if funded)
Part of the STRiDE project – Strengthening Responses to Dementia in Developing Countries – the UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund (ES/P010938/1)
Project Summary

With the outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa in March 2020, the National Advisory Group (NAG) of STRiDE decided to undertake a survey to ascertain how long-term care facilities (LTCFs) that accommodate people living with dementia were responding to Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown. A Covid-19 Working Group was established to oversee this process. Two rounds of a brief survey were distributed to LTCFs via the STRiDE networks – the first in May 2020 and a second in July/August 2020. The responses from both rounds were collated in this report. This report was discussed with survey respondents (staff from the participating LTCFs) and a separately with the STRiDE COVID discussion group. A series of lessons learnt, and recommendations were developed in these meetings and reported in sections 5 and 6 of the report. A total of 58 responses were received from 48 facilities (10 submitted responses in both waves).  The sample was spread nationally and represent the slightly better resourced facilities. The recommendations propose that the entire long-term care system be reviewed, including LTCFs, home-based care and community-based support. Conversations are needed about the future of retirement villages and care homes, alternative perspectives on ageing, ‘age-friendly’ communities, and appropriate models of care.

Outputs / Expected Outputs

A report on the survey and findings has been published here:

A journal article is in preparation for completion in early 2021.

Project website




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How long-term dementia care facilities in South Africa have coped with the COVID-19 lockdown