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Public representations of long-term residential care (LTRC) facilities have received limited focus in Canada, although literature from other countries indicates that public perceptions of LTRC tend to be negative, particularly in contexts that prioritize aging and dying in place. Using Manitoba as the study context, we investigate a question of broad relevance to the Canadian perspective; specifically, what are current public perceptions of the role and function of long-term care in the context of a changing health care system? Through critical discourse analysis, we identify four overarching discourses dominating public perceptions of LTRC: the problem of public aging, LTRC as an imperfect solution to the problem, LTRC as ambiguous social spaces, and LTRC as a last resort option. Building on prior theoretical work, we suggest that public perceptions of LTRC are informed by neoliberal discourses that privilege individual responsibility and problematize public care.
COVID-19 pandemia means a special threat to elderly patients in nursing homes. Dementia sufferers, who make up most of nursing home clients throughout Europe, have been in a critical situation. They bear a higher risk of delirium when affected by the virus. They often do not understand and easily forget, how to use a mask and keep the distance required. In many institutions the elderly were isolated and could not even take their meals together. And finally they do not recognize and even fear nursing staff and other personnel, which has to wear “protective clothes”. Caregivers were told not to visit their loved ones any more.
Where available, modern techniques werde used. Skype and/or Zoom, Facetime telephone should replace face to face contacts. Some insitutions offered visitor rooms, where clients and visitors were separated by acrylic windows and microphones were applied. In some areas, physicians’ visits were reduced to a minimum.
Just recently, regular testing of staff and clients in nursing homes has been introduced. However, this is consuming staff time, which - again - is taken from the patients. We discuss, whether the elderly and their caregivers could set their own preferences.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required services to evolve quickly to continue routine care and telemedicine has been rapidly implemented to facilitate this. Older persons are at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 and it is essential that their exposure to COVID-19 is minimized.
Our aim was to assess staff and patient satisfaction with remote psychiatric assessments using mobile tablets in long-stay facilities.
Remote clinics using Skype video on mobile tablets were conducted with patients in long-stay facilities attending psychiatry in rural North-West Ireland between April and July 2020. At each review, a satisfaction survey was administered to the patient, their keyworker and the clinician. The patient/keyworker survey instrument had four yes/no statements and the clinician survey had four statements with 5-point likert scale responses (1=very low to 5=very high). Open feedback was also obtained for thematic analysis. Descriptive analyses were completed using SPSS software.
23 patients (mean age 80.9yrs) were assessed in 10 long-stay facilities. All patients were agreeable to participating in video consultation although only 13 patients were able to respond to survey due to cognitive impairment. There was a 92.3% positive patient response (12/13) and 95.7% positive keyworker response (N=22/23) for all statements. The mean score on the assessor response ranged from 3.43 to 4.04 with the lowest rate for quality of transmission. The main themes identified were related to the quality of connection and sensory difficulties.
Video consultations using mobile tablets offer an acceptable form of remote psychiatry assessment for older persons in long-stay facilities.
Emergency management responses to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in nursing homes lacked preparation and nuance; moving forward, responses must recognize nursing homes are not generic organizations or services, and individually appreciate each’s unique nature, strengths, and limitations. The objective of this study was to describe an approach to stratifying nursing homes according to risk for COVID-19 outbreak.
Population-based cross-sectional study of all accredited nursing homes in Victoria (n = 766), accommodating 48,824 permanent residents. We examined each home’s facility structure, governance history, socio-economic status, proximity to high-risk industry, and proximity and size of local acute public hospital, stratified by location, size, and organizational structure.
Privately owned nursing homes tend to be larger and metropolitan-based, and publicly owned homes regionally based and smaller in size. The details reveal additional nuance, eg, privately owned metropolitan-based medium- to large-sized facilities tended to have more regulatory noncompliance, no board of governance, and fewer Chief Executive Officers with clinical background. In contrast, the smaller, publicly owned, remote facilities perform better on those same metrics.
Nursing homes should not be regarded as generic entities, and there is significant underlying heterogeneity. Stratification of nursing homes according to risk level is a viable approach to informing more nuanced policy direction and resource allocation for emergency management responses.
Subcontracting long-term care (LTC), whereby facilities contracted with third party agencies to provide care to residents, became widespread in British Columbia after 2002. This qualitative study aimed to understand the impact of subcontracting from the perspective of care workers. We interviewed 11 care workers employed in subcontracted facilities to explore their perceptions of caring and working under these conditions. Our overarching finding was one of loss. Care workers lost wages, benefits, security, and voice. Their working conditions worsened, with workload and turnover increasing, resulting in a loss of experienced staff and a loss of time to provide care. These findings call into question the promises of quality and flexibility that legitimated policies permitting subcontracting, while adding to the mounting evidence that subcontracting LTC harms both workers and residents.
On May 11, the Dutch Government allowed 26 nursing homes to welcome 1 visitor per resident, after 2 months of lockdown. The study aimed to monitor in-depth the feasibility of the regulations and their impact on the well-being of residents, their visitors, and healthcare staff.
Mixed-methods study in 5 of the 26 facilities; the facilities were affiliated to an academic network of nursing homes.
Visitors and healthcare professionals.
Allowing visitors using local regulations based on national guidelines.
Digital questionnaire, analyzing documentation such as infection prevention control protocols, attending meetings of COVID-19 crisis teams, in-depth telephone or in-person interviews with visitors and healthcare professionals, and on-site observations.
National guidelines were translated with great variety into local care practice. Healthcare professionals agreed that reopening would increase the well-being of the residents and their loved ones. However, there were also great worries for increasing workload, increasing the risk of emotional exhaustion, and the risk of COVID-19 infections. Compliance with local regulations was generally satisfactory, but maintaining social distance and correctly wearing face masks appeared to be difficult. Care staff remained ambivalent for fear of infections. In general, allowing visitors was experienced as having a positive impact on the well-being of all stakeholders. Nevertheless, some residents with dementia showed negative effects.
The complete lockdown of Dutch nursing homes had a substantial impact on the well-being of the residents. The reopening was welcomed by all stakeholders, but provided a high organizational workload as well as feelings of ambivalence among care staff. In the second wave, a more tailored approach is being implemented. However, facilities are sometimes still struggling to find the right balance between infection control and well-being.
The availability of informal care will remain a key factor influencing future demand for formal services and the analysis cannot be dissociated from formal care. Based on the ‘unpaid care work–paid work–paid care work circle’, proposed by the International Labour Office, this paper focuses on the individual, interpersonal and organisational determinants that most influence quality care. This paper is based on 40 semi-structured interviews with care workers, in 16 Portuguese care homes, in one council in the metropolitan area of Lisbon. In spite of social change processes in the care worker profession in Portuguese nursing homes, in the last decade, in terms of numbers, age and education, the interviews allowed me to unveil qualitatively what the numbers hid: precarious working conditions, insufficient staffing, excessive workloads and long working hours, high rotation and insufficient skills. All these determinants have consequences not only on the quality of the care that these care workers can offer, but also on their physical and mental health, job satisfaction and work environment. The high demand of care needs due to the ageing of the population, calls for continued efforts in improving working conditions, and a national strategy to promote recruitment of a diverse, younger and more-qualified workforce. The professionalisation of care work must be integrated with migration and employment policies (improvement of job quality and working conditions).
As they near the end of life, long term care (LTC) residents often experience unmet needs and unnecessary hospital transfers, a reflection of suboptimal advance care planning (ACP). We applied the knowledge-to-action framework to identify shared barriers and solutions to ultimately improve the process of ACP and improve end-of-life care for LTC residents. We held a 1-day workshop for LTC residents, families, directors/administrators, ethicists, and clinicians from Manitoba, Alberta, and Ontario. The workshop aimed to identify: (1) shared understandings of ACP, (2) barriers to respecting resident wishes, and (3) solutions to better respect resident wishes. Plenary and group sessions were recorded and thematic analysis was performed. We identified four themes: (1) differing provincial frameworks, (2) shared challenges, (3) knowledge products, and 4) ongoing ACP. Theme 2 had four subthemes: (i) lacking clarity on substitute decision maker (SDM) identity, (ii) lacking clarity on the SDM role, (iii) failing to share sufficient information when residents formulate care wishes, and (iv) failing to communicate during a health crisis. These results have informed the development of a standardized ACP intervention currently being evaluated in a randomized trial in three Canadian provinces.
Nursing home (NH) residents with dementia is exposed to high rates of psychotropic prescriptions. Our objectives were to: (1) pool the prevalence estimates of psychotropic polypharmacy from the existing literature and (2) examine potentially influential factors that are related to a higher or lower prevalence.
Meta-analysis of data collected from randomized trials, quasi-experimental, prospective or retrospective cohort, and cross-sectional studies. English-language searches of PubMed and PsycINFO were completed by November 2020. Included studies reported prevalence estimates of psychotropic polypharmacy (i.e. defined as either two-or-more or three-or-more medications concurrently) in NH residents with dementia.
Setting and Participants:
NH residents with dementia.
Random-effects models were used to pool the prevalence of psychotropic polypharmacy in NH residents with dementia across studies. Estimates were provided for both two-or-more and three-or-more concurrent medications. Heterogeneity and publication bias were measured. Meta-regression examined the influence of the percentage of the sample who were male, mean age of the sample, geographic region (continent), sample size, and study year on the prevalence of psychotropic polypharmacy.
Twenty-five unique articles were included comprising medications data from 92,370 NH residents with dementia in 12 countries. One-in-three (33%, [95% CI: 28%, 39%]) NH residents with dementia received two-or-more psychotropic medications concurrently. One-in-eight (13%, [95% CI: 10%, 17%]) received three-or-more psychotropic medications concurrently. Estimates were highly variable across both definitions of psychotropic polypharmacy (p < 0.001). Among study-level demographics, geographic region, sample size, or study year, only male sex was associated with greater use of two-or-more psychotropic medications (Unadjusted OR = 1.02, p = 0.006; Adjusted OR = 1.04, p = 0.07).
Psychotropic polypharmacy is common among NH residents with dementia. Identifying the causes of utilization and the effects on resident health and well-being should be prioritized by federal entities seeking to improve NH quality.
The behavior problems in residents may affect professionals’ performance at work, quality of work life, and even their health. Thus, it is important to have instruments that allow to estimate their prevalence. The objective of this study was to validate the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist-Nursing Homes (RMBPC-NH; Allen et al., 2003) in a Spanish population. Specifically, it was tested the factor structure of the RMBPC-NH proposed by Wagner et al. (1995). Moreover, the relevance of the different types of problems for the working performance, at the level of individuals and institutions, was explored.
In the present study, a total of 200 professionals participated.
A Confirmatory Factor Analysis was conducted using WLSMV estimator in Mplus 7. Results showed a good fit to the data for the four-factor model (?2(813) = 1733.73, p<.001, CFI = .90, TIL = .90, RMSEA = .08). Thus, it can be concluded that the original factor structure proposed by Wagner et al. (1995) and replicated by Allen et al. (2003) can also be applied to Spanish staff nursing homes. The reliability of the scale was adequate (α from .86 to .93). Moreover, different descriptive and correlational results showed that both the factor scores of the Spanish adaptation of the RMBPC-NH and the importance of each type of problem were associated to different variable related.
After analyzing the factor structure, reliability and validity of the adaptation of the RMBPC-NH scale for Spanish staff nursing homes it has found that it has good psychometric properties, so it could be a useful tool for this population.
This work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant number PSI2016-79803-R).
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has accounted for more than 25 000 cases in Ireland with approximately 28% of the clusters in nursing homes as of June 2020. The older population is the most vulnerable to serious complications from this illness and over 90% of deaths due to COVID-19 to date have been in patients over the age of 65. Continuing to provide routine care within nursing homes in these challenging times is an essential part of ensuring that presentations to hospitals for non-essential reasons are minimized. In this article, we describe a project being undertaken by a rural Psychiatry of Old Age Service in the northwest of Ireland. We aim to provide ordinary care in extraordinary times by using mobile tablets within the nursing homes and long-stay facilities in our region for remote video consultations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Family carers (FCs) of nursing home (NH) residents are best placed to notice deteriorations that signal impending death in their relative, which can open a conversation with healthcare professionals (HCPs) about adjusting the care plan. We explored contributors to bereaved FCs’ decision to transition towards palliative-oriented care for their relatives in NHs.
This qualitative descriptive study used a phenomenological design. Thirty-two bereaved FCs across 13 Italian NHs completed semi-structured interviews. Additional data were collected on NH referrals to palliative care services (PCS) in the 6 months before study start and treatments provided in the last week of life. Content analysis with a combined inductive and deductive approach was applied to identify codes and fit them into an a priori framework. When codes did not fit, they were grouped into new categories, which were finally gathered into themes.
FCs reported four types of “trigger events” that made them doubt that their relative would recover: (1) physical deterioration (e.g., stopping eating/walking or swallowing problems); (2) social confirmation (e.g., confirming their relative's condition with friends); (3) multiple hospitalizations; and (4) external indicators (e.g., medical examinations by external consultants). A “resident-centered environment” helped FCs recognize trigger events and “raise awareness of the possibility of death”; however, the “need for reassurance” was pivotal to a “gradual transition towards palliative-oriented care”. When participants did not recognize the trigger event, their relative continued to receive curative-oriented care. NHs that referred residents to PCS discussed palliative-oriented care more frequently with FCs, had a lower nurse-to-resident and nurse aide-to-resident ratio, and administered more palliative-oriented care.
Significance of results
Trigger events represent an opportunity to discuss residents’ prognosis and are the starting point for a gradual transition towards palliative-oriented care. Adequate staffing, teamwork, and communication between FCs and healthcare professionals contribute to a sensitive, timely shift in care goals.
Nursing home residents with dementia are sensitive to detrimental auditory environments. This paper presents the first literature review of empirical research investigating (1) the (perceived) intensity and sources of sounds in nursing homes, and (2) the influence of sounds on health of residents with dementia and staff.
A systematic review was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus. Study quality was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. We used a narrative approach to present the results.
We included 35 studies. Nine studies investigated sound intensity and reported high noise intensity with an average of 55–68 dB(A) (during daytime). In four studies about sound sources, human voices and electronic devices were the most dominant sources. Five cross-sectional studies focused on music interventions and reported positives effects on agitated behaviors. Four randomized controlled trials tested noise reduction as part of an intervention. In two studies, high-intensity sounds were associated with decreased nighttime sleep and increased agitation. The third study found an association between music and less agitation compared to other stimuli. The fourth study did not find an effect of noise on agitation. Two studies reported that a noisy environment had negative effects on staff.
The need for appropriate auditory environments that are responsive to residents’ cognitive abilities and functioning is not yet recognized widely. Future research needs to place greater emphasis on intervention-based and longitudinal study design.
The aim of this study was to explore the association between specific aspects of carer distress and time until nursing home admission (NHA) in people with mild dementia.
Prospective cohort study.
Participants were recruited from the Dementia Study of Western Norway (DemVest).
This study included 107 participants admitted to a nursing home who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD, n = 64) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB, n = 43) and their primary carers.
The Relative Stress Scale (RSS) was used to assess the level of reported distress in carers. Adjusted partial least square (PLS) prediction analysis of baseline items of the RSS was used to study the associations between individual items of the RSS and time until NHA.
Carer distress is an important contributor to early NHA, explaining 19.3% of the total variance of time until NHA in the model without covariates. In the adjusted PLS model, the most important RSS predictors of time until NHA were feeling frustrated (estimate = −137; CI, −209, −64.5), having limitations on social life (estimate = −118; CI, −172, −64), not being able to get away on vacation (estimate −116; CI, −158.3, −73.7), and feeling unable to cope with the situation (estimate = −63; CI, −122.6, −3.4).
Preservation of the informal care capacity represents important steps for improving the management of resources in dementia care. This study identifies aspects of carer distress associated with a shorter time until NHA. Looking beyond the sum score of the RSS helps promote the development of flexible and tailored interventions and perhaps delay NHA.
To evaluate the effect of the PROPER intervention in nursing home residents with dementia on the prevalence of psychotropic drug use and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
A cluster-randomized controlled design with two parallel groups (intervention versus usual care) and assessments at 0, 6, 12, and 18 months.
Thirty-one dementia special care units within 13 long-term care organizations in the Netherlands.
Three hundred eighty nursing home residents with dementia
The PROPER intervention consisted of a structured and repeated multidisciplinary medication review, supported by education and continuous evaluation.
Prescriptions of antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, and hypnotics, and occurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The prescription of any type of psychotropic drugs increased in the intervention group, and decreased in the control group, with an estimated difference of 3.9 percentage points per 6 months (p = 0.01). Effects for the individual drug groups were minor (differences of 1.6 percentage points and below per 6 months) and not statistically significant. The occurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms remained stable in both the intervention and control groups during the follow-up of 18 months.
The PROPER intervention failed to demonstrate effectiveness in reducing the prevalence of psychotropic drugs. It may be interesting to enrich the intervention with components that address personal attitudes and communication between nursing home professionals, not only with respect to the prescription of psychotropic drugs, but also to neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The study has been registered in The Netherlands Trial Register (NTR3569).
Person-centred care is recognized as best practice in dementia care. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a stakeholder engagement practice change initiative aimed at increasing the provision of person-centred mealtimes in a residential care home (RCH). A single-group, time series design was used to assess the impact of the practice change initiative on mealtime environment across four time periods (pre-intervention, 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up). Statistically significant improvements were noted in all mealtime environment scales by 6 months, including the physical environment (z = -3.06, p = 0.013), social environment (z = -3.69, p = 0.001), relationship and person-centred scale (z = -3.51, p = 0.003), and overall environment scale (z = -3.60, p = 0.002). This practice change initiative, which focused on enhancing stakeholder engagement, provided a feasible method for increasing the practice of person-centred care during mealtimes in an RCH through the application of supportive leadership, collaborative decision making, and staff engagement.
This work quantitatively assesses the potential reasons behind the difference in prices paid by care home residents in England. Evidence suggests that the price paid by private payers is higher than that paid for publicly supported residents, and this is often attributed to the market power wielded by local authorities as the dominant purchaser in local markets. Estimations of private prices at the local authority level are used to assess the difference in price paid between private and public prices, the fees gap, using data from 2008 to 2010. Controlling for local area and average care home characteristics, the results indicate that both care home and local authority market power play a role in the price determination of the market.
Use of antipsychotic drugs in long-term aged care (LTC) is prevalent and commonly exceeds the recommended duration, but contributors to this problem are not well understood. The objective of this study is to provide a snapshot of the features of and contributors to prolonged use of antipsychotic medications (>12 weeks) among a sample of LTC residents.
We present retrospective and baseline data collected for the Australian Halting Antipsychotic Use in Long-Term Care (HALT) single-arm longitudinal deprescribing trial.
Twenty-four long-term care facilities in Sydney, Australia.
The HALT study included 146 older people living in 24 Sydney LTC homes who had been prescribed a regular antipsychotic medication for at least 3 months at baseline.
Detailed file audit was conducted to identify the date and indication recorded at initial prescription, consenting practices, longitudinal course of prescribing, and recommendations for review of antipsychotic medication. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and functional dependence at baseline were assessed via LTC staff interview. Cognition at baseline was assessed in a participant interview (where possible).
Antipsychotics were prescribed for 2.2 years on average despite recommendations by a doctor or pharmacist for review in 62% of cases. Consent for antipsychotic prescription was accessible for only one case and contraindications for use were common. Longer use of antipsychotics was independently associated with higher dose of the antipsychotic drug and greater apathy, but not with other BPSD.
Antipsychotic medications appeared to be prescribed in this sample as a maintenance treatment in the absence of active indicated symptoms and without informed consent. Standard interventions, including recommendations for review, had been insufficient to ensure evidence-based prescribing.
Nearly half of care home residents with advanced dementia have clinically significant agitation. Little is known about costs associated with these symptoms toward the end of life. We calculated monetary costs associated with agitation from UK National Health Service, personal social services, and societal perspectives.
Prospective cohort study.
Thirteen nursing homes in London and the southeast of England.
Seventy-nine people with advanced dementia (Functional Assessment Staging Tool grade 6e and above) residing in nursing homes, and thirty-five of their informal carers.
Data collected at study entry and monthly for up to 9 months, extrapolated for expression per annum. Agitation was assessed using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI). Health and social care costs of residing in care homes, and costs of contacts with health and social care services were calculated from national unit costs; for a societal perspective, costs of providing informal care were estimated using the resource utilization in dementia (RUD)-Lite scale.
After adjustment, health and social care costs, and costs of providing informal care varied significantly by level of agitation as death approached, from £23,000 over a 1-year period with no agitation symptoms (CMAI agitation score 0–10) to £45,000 at the most severe level (CMAI agitation score >100). On average, agitation accounted for 30% of health and social care costs. Informal care costs were substantial, constituting 29% of total costs.
With the increasing prevalence of dementia, costs of care will impact on healthcare and social services systems, as well as informal carers. Agitation is a key driver of these costs in people with advanced dementia presenting complex challenges for symptom management, service planners, and providers.