Who’s in the House? Staffing in Long-Term Care Homes Before and During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Vellani, Shirin
Spilsbury, Karen
Zúñiga, Franziska
Backman, Annica
Kusmaul, Nancy
Scales, Kezia
Chu, Charlene H.
Mateos, José Tomás
Wang, Jing
Fagertun, Anette
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cc-by-nc (c) Vellani et al., 2022
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Critical gaps exist in our knowledge on how best to provide quality person-centered care to long-term care (LTC) home residents which is closely tied to not knowing what the ideal staff is complement in the home. A survey was created on staffing in LTC homes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how the staff complement changed. Perspectives were garnered from researchers, clinicians, and policy experts in eight countries and the data provides a first approximation of staffing before and during the pandemic. Five broad categories of staff working in LTC homes were as follows: (1) those responsible for personal and support care, (2) nursing care, (3) medical care, (4) rehabilitation and recreational care, and (5) others. There is limited availability of data related to measuring staff complement in the home and those with similar roles had different titles making it difficult to compare between countries. Nevertheless, the survey results highlight that some categories of staff were either absent or deemed non-essential during the pandemic. We require standardized high-quality workforce data to design better decision-making tools for staffing and planning, which are in line with the complex care needs of the residents and prevent precarious work conditions for staff.
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Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 2022, vol. 8, p. 1-9.