Australasian Journal on Ageing
Kurongkurl Katitjin / School of Arts and Humanities / School of Medical and Health Sciences
Western Australia Department of Health
Objective: To investigate how small, local organisations were impacted by and responded to COVID-19 in their delivery of social care services to older adults (70 years and older). Lessons learnt and future implications are discussed. Methods: Six representatives from four social care services (five females and one male) participated in individual semistructured interviews. Responses were analysed thematically. Results: The key themes identified were service providers' experience, perceived needs of older adults and adapting services. Service providers positioned themselves as front-line essential workers for their older adult clients, resulting in some emotional toll and distress for the service providers. They provided information, wellness checks and at-home assistance to keep their older adult clients connected. Conclusions: Service providers feel more prepared for future restrictions but flag the potential of training and supporting older adults to use technology to stay connected, as well as the need for more readily available funding to allow services to adapt quickly during times of crisis.
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