Evidence and Practice

Clinical

Effects of social isolation and restrictions on older people during the COVID-19 pandemic

Effects of social isolation and restrictions on older people during the COVID-19...

Why you should read this article: • To understand older people’s perspectives of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic • To recognise the effects of social isolation and restrictions due to the pandemic on older people’s physical health and mental well-being • To consider what physical and psychological post-pandemic support you could provide to older people Background Older people’s health is vulnerable to the effects of long-term changes to everyday life and their recovery from ill health can be delayed by the deconditioning effects of isolation. Social isolation can increase the likelihood of loneliness in older people, which has negative implications for their mental and physical health. Aim To explore the effects of social isolation and social distancing on older people in the Republic of Ireland during and following the government-enforced lockdown in the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Method This study involved a convenience sample of four participants from the Republic of Ireland. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and audio-recorded with each participant over six sessions, two weeks apart, between 6 April 2020 and 7 July 2020. Transcripts were analysed using content analysis of longitudinal data to identify themes. Findings Three themes were identified: the effect on health and mental well-being; commitment to restrictions; and concern about the non-adherence of others. Conclusion Participants committed fully to ‘cocooning’ and other government restrictions, sometimes to the detriment of their health. Healthcare professionals need to be mindful of potential post-pandemic deconditioning in older people resulting from adherence to government restrictions and lingering anxieties about returning to normality after prolonged isolation.

Diagnosing, managing and preventing urinary tract infections in older people with dementia in hospital

Diagnosing, managing and preventing UTIs in older people with dementia in hospital

Urinary tract infections are common in older people but frequently complicated to diagnose

Care home uniforms: exploring stakeholders’ views on clothing options for staff

Care home uniforms: exploring stakeholders’ views on clothing options for staff

The care home community is divided on whether or not staff should wear a uniform

Open access
Developing a competency framework for early career nurses undertaking post-registration education in care for older people

Early career nurses undertaking post-registration education in care for older people

Developing and evaluating a competency framework in a UK university

Comprehensive geriatric assessment: outcomes of an advanced nurse practitioner-led service for older people requiring emergency surgery

An advanced nurse practitioner-led service for older people’s emergency surgery

Enhance your awareness of the value and use of comprehensive geriatric assessments

Role of medicines management in preventing falls in older people

Role of medicines management in preventing falls in older people

Consider actions you could take in your practice to prevent medicines-related falls

CPD articles

‘Guiding Lights for effective workplace cultures’: enhancing the care environment for staff and patients in older people’s care settings

‘Guiding Lights for effective workplace cultures’

Enhancing the care environment for staff and patients in older people’s care settings

Implementing COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures in long-term care settings

COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures in long-term care settings

Enhance your knowledge of infection prevention measures to reduce risk of COVID transmission

Demonstrating empathy when communicating with older people

Demonstrating empathy when communicating with older people

Empathy is integral to communication with older people and central to person-centred care

Supporting older people experiencing anxiety through non-pharmacological interventions

Supporting older people experiencing anxiety through non-pharmacological interventions

Anxiety is a debilitating condition that adversely affects people’s quality of life

Basic assessment and treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in older women

This article aims to provide nurses with an understanding of lower urinary tract symptoms

Preventing and managing pressure ulcers in patients receiving palliative care

Preventing and managing pressure ulcers in patients receiving palliative care

Appropriate nursing care to prevent, improve and heal pressure ulcers

How to

Hearing loss

How to address the communication needs of older patients with hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common problem in older people and may have a negative effect on their care while in hospital, as well as resulting in significant cost to the NHS. This article outlines the findings of a two-year project in an NHS trust to improve the care of older people with hearing loss. An important outcome of the project was the development of a hearing loss toolkit containing good practice recommendations and tools to help staff in all NHS trusts, and other care settings, implement practical and cost-effective improvements.

Planning

How to use advance care planning in a care home

Admission to a care home is a major event for many individuals and, for some, a time when they may lose their independence. It is at this juncture that they should be given the opportunity to participate in planning their future care. An advance care plan (ACP) is a means for people with capacity to document their preferences for their care and to enable providers to advocate on their behalf. Some people will have lost mental capacity before admission to a care facility, so it is essential for staff to be familiar with the complexities of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to support residents approaching the end of life. This article outlines the processes of ACP and identifies resources available to support the introduction of ACP into care homes.

Practice question

How do I use the 4AT tool for delirium?

Delirium is time-critical, but can be identified with a simple bedside test

Build your nursing expertise with the help of communities of practice

Participation enhances your career and develops new, diverse practices

How do I get involved in nursing research?

Nursing and care staff can enhance patient outcomes by expanding their research knowledge

How can advanced nursing practice improve integrated health and social care services?

Advanced nurse practitioners caring for older people need to raise the role’s profile

How can I support rehabilitation of care home residents after COVID-19?

Nurses have a key role in the rehabilitation of people in long-term care

How can further deconditioning be prevented in older people after COVID-19?

Nurses can help counter the physical and cognitive decline of older people

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