Residential Aged Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Staff Survey on Impact and Resources

J Gerontol Nurs. 2023 Mar;49(3):13-17. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20230209-03. Epub 2023 Mar 1.


The current study explored the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on staff in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). A hardcopy, voluntary, anonymous survey was circulated to local RACFs (June-July 2020), exploring challenges, staffing effects, mood within RACFs, and staff perceptions of supports. Overall, 105 staff members responded, which were mainly nursing personnel (67.6%) and owners/managers (10.5%). Seventy percent believed they were equipped to handle patients with COVID-19. One quarter reported personal protective equipment shortages. Respondents reported pressures to accept patients with COVID-19 from hospitals and/or keep residents in the RACF. One third reported staff "calling in sick" related to COVID-19/quarantine. Common compensatory strategies included increasing part-time workers' hours. Reported mood was largely positive. Most (86.4%) respondents felt supported by general practitioner and local geriatric outreach services. Opportunities to best support RACF staff require further research and dialogue. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 49(3), 13-17.].

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Emotions
  • Geriatric Nursing*
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Pandemics