The resource needs of Home Health Care Assistants working with community-dwelling older adults in Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic
Aoibheann Mc Keown
Home health care assistants (HHCAs) support those living in the community to live as independently as possible. HHCAs may provide a range of supports to their clients such as, but not limited to, supporting their clients with activities of daily living (ADLs) i.e. washing, eating and dressing, supporting their clients with household duties or providing their clients with social support or companionship. Although HHCAs can provide services to clients of all ages, this study is focused on HHCAs providing care to older community-dwelling adults. Like many health care workers, the Covid-19 virus required HHCAs to alter and amend their working practices following government and health advisory guidelines. Some of these changes included implementing social distancing and the use of advanced PPE. With the nature of many ADL tasks requiring the HHCA to be in close proximity to their clients, these guidelines presented a challenge for both the older person receiving care and the HHCA providing care. Much public discourse has centred on the difficulties current Covid-19 guidelines present for healthcare workers in acute and long-term residential settings. However, HHCAs have been largely absent from such discussion, despite the recognized role of effective community care as part of a long-term Covid-19 response. To address the lack of literature currently available on HHCAs working in Ireland during the covid- 19 pandemic, this study is focused on the resource needs of HHCAs supporting community-dwelling older adults in Ireland during the covid-19 pandemic.
This study aims to establish:
How the work of HHCAs, with community-dwelling older people, has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and
The resource needs of HHCAs supporting community-dwelling older adults in Ireland during the covid-19 pandemic.
Suzanne Smith MSc, NetwellCASALA
Dr. Oonagh Giggins, NetwellCASALA
Dr. Kevin Mc Kenna, Department of Nursing, Midwifery & Early Years, DKIT
Expected completion date of study