Elderly Care in the Time of Coronavirus: Perceptions and Experiences of Care Home Staff in Pakistan

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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 3. doi: 10.1002/gps.5386. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The highly contagious and deadly, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused significant disruption in the small care sector of Pakistan. This study accordingly explores the perceptions and experiences of staff providing direct caregiving services to the elderly residents at three care homes during the time of the coronavirus pandemic in Karachi, Pakistan.

DESIGN: Using a qualitative approach, 27 digitally-recorded, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were performed with current and former caregiving staff members. The data was analyzed through qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Analysis highlights various kinds of challenges that were faced by the caregivers and their families during the pandemic. The main theme class identified from the data was “living in anxiety and fear.” The work-related decisions made by caregivers at that time were mainly influenced by their familial demands and responsibilities.

CONCLUSION: Caregivers were at risk of catching the lethal virus through inhalation of or physical contact with infectious particles, but despite that most of them continued to render elderly care services. This study’s findings could be used by government leaders and care home administrations when making coronavirus containment policies, designing economic relief packages, and formulating caregiving training programs in Pakistan or other countries in the world. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:32748399 | DOI:10.1002/gps.5386