COVID-19 and the role and impact of the built environment on resident, family, and staff experiences in residential long-term care settings: Key findings and recommendations for building adaptation and retrofit.

Supporting the Sustainability of Long-Term Residential Care in a COVID-19 Environment and in the Future.

Long-term residential care (LTRC) homes have been at the centre of the COVID-19 pandemic, with high infection rates among staff and residents. A significant proportion of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in LTRC residents. During the pandemic, questions were raised about the ability of the sector to ensure the safety of residents and in particular, whether homes had adequate resources to respond to the pandemic. Working with the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive and other relevant organisations, the aim of this project is to provide evidence on potential reforms of the LTRC sector to ensure the safety of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ensuring the sustainability of the sector in the longer term.

The project has two Work Packages: 

Work Package 1 will identify and collect data on the LTRC sector in Ireland. The research will examine the LTRC sector during COVID-19 and identify how care homes differ across a number of characteristics. The analysis will also identify if particular types of care homes were more likely to experience higher COVID-19 infections and deaths. This analysis will provide evidence about which homes may require additional support during the pandemic and beyond.

In Work Package 2, the researchers will work closely with a number of organisations including the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Nursing Homes Ireland to identify potential issues with the current governance structure of the LTRC sector and to identify possible alternative arrangements. This Work Package will review some of the temporary measures introduced during COVID-19 to support the sector. The analysis will assess if, and to what extent, these measures addressed the issues within the sector and identify what measures may be necessary in the future to maximise the safety of residents and the sustainability of the sector.  

Award Date
26 June 2020
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Maev-Ann Wren
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin