Evidence to assess the impact of COVID-19 on community-based dementia care in Nova Scotia

Katie Aubrecht, St. Francis Xavier University

This project uses a sociological perspective to address the pressing need for information that can be used to assess the impact and health equity implications of COVID-19 on community supports for vulnerable older adults living with multiple chronic conditions, including dementia, and their family friend caregivers in Nova Scotia. Within the current context of social distancing and social isolation, evidence about the resources, services and supports that make it possible for dementia care to continue at home in the community is lacking. This integrated Knowledge Translation (iKT) project will contribute to, clarify and enhance the best evidence-in-the-moment about dementia-relevant supports and program service delivery by using qualitative social scientific methods and an intersectional health equity and Sex and Gender Based Analysis Plus (SGBA+) to collect and synthesize data on dementia-relevant formal health system and local grassroots resources, services and supports. The new knowledge generated from the work will develop a baseline that can be used to assess the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery both during and post-pandemic, and support efforts to transition from emergency measures and adjust to the post-COVID-19 ‘new normal’. Drawing on interviews with diverse populations of people living with dementia and their family/friend caregivers, we will create a snapshot of service realities for socially and medically vulnerable populations. The documentation of service realities will provide a crucial resource for current and future efforts to track, analyze, interpret and address issues of health (in)equity for older adults living with dementia and their caregivers in the province. Project results and outputs will highlight gaps in existing service provision, and prioritize areas for action in accordance with resource availability within a dynamic and changing context. It is critical that this information be captured and collated now, while it is still accessible (particularly where local grassroots supports are included, which may lack formal documentation or public archiving).


Co-investigators: Katie Aubrecht, Janice Keefe, Barbara Hamilton-Hinch, Meaghan Sim, Elaine Moody, OmiSoore Dryden, Jacqueline Gahagan, Maria Pertl, Kristin Hadfield, Christine Kelly, Rachel Herron, Mary Jean Hande, Judah Goldstein

Partners: Bernadette Rock (Alzheimer Society Ireland), Susan Hardie (Eviance: Canadian Centre on Disability Studies), Sacha Nadeau (Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia), Janet Kokocki (Victorian Order of Nurses), Trudy Flynn (Maritime Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Support Unit Patient Partner)

Research Associate/Project Manager: Laura Dowling

Students: Kelly Bradbury, Rosanne Burke, Shirley Hodder, Mary Lukindo, Anna O’Brien, Sara Luck

Funder: Nova Scotia COVID-19 Health Research Coalition

Research Status: This is a rapid multi-part research project – some research is in-progress and some is completed and being presented (policy scan and scoping review).

Contact: Katie Aubrecht

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