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Living in a care home during COVID-19: a case study of one person living with dementia

Ian Davies-Abbott (School of Health Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, UK)
Catrin Hedd Jones (School of Health Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, UK)
Gill Windle (School of Health Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, UK)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 15 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand the lived experience of a person living with dementia in a care home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It responds to the absence in research of the voices of people with dementia living in care homes during the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a single case study design applied thematic analysis to semi-structured interview data to discover the experiences of one person living with dementia in a care home during a period of lockdown.

Findings

Five themes reveal how the participant responded to the practical and emotional challenges of the pandemic: autonomy; fears; keeping connected; keeping safe and other people living with dementia. These themes highlight the participant’s ability to adapt, accept and dispute lockdown restrictions, revealing considerable insight into their situation.

Research limitations/implications

The pandemic has restricted access to care homes, which informed the single case study design. This approach to the research may restrict the generalisability of the findings. Other researchers are encouraged to include the voices of people with dementia living in care homes in further studies.

Practical implications

Implications for practice, presented in this paper, promote quality psychosocial approaches when health-care workers engage with people living with dementia during periods of restricted activity.

Originality/value

Unlike other studies about the impact of the pandemic on care homes, this paper explores the experience of the pandemic in care homes from the perspective of a person living with dementia.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

To be uploaded on acceptance of the article. The authors would like to thank the participant for their contribution to this study. We would also like to thank Iona Strom, for her support with the interview transcription. Declaration of conflicting interests: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article. Funding: The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and or publication of this article: This work was supported by Health and Care Research Wales through the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research. Ethical approval: Ethical approval for the study was granted by Bangor University Health and Medical Sciences Academic Ethics Committee. Ethics approval reference/number: 2020–16757.

Citation

Davies-Abbott, I., Hedd Jones, C. and Windle, G. (2021), "Living in a care home during COVID-19: a case study of one person living with dementia", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-02-2021-0024

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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