Morath LP, Burström B, Liljas AEM
Int J Older People Nurs - (-) e12483 [2022-06-14; online 2022-06-14]
The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected older adults and resulted in high rates of infections and deaths in care homes. We have conducted a case study in which three managers of care homes for older adults in central Stockholm have shared their thoughts on the media coverage of care homes for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. We analysed the data using conventional content analysis and identified three themes and five categories. The results show that the managers experienced the media coverage of care homes during the pandemic to be negative and incomplete, causing feelings of sadness and shame amongst themselves and their staff. The negative media coverage further generated added workload as they had to arrange for discussions to answer questions by staff and close relatives of the residents. Informants also thought that there is a lack of knowledge about the role of care homes and subsequently what to expect of them. Finally, informants reported that the pandemic might create an opportunity for system-level policy changes. In light of this, we discuss possible victim blaming of staff and how greater public awareness of the care home sector could facilitate for a debate on policy changes and the low social status of caring for older adults.