A new study has gone some way to revealing the extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic affected the mental health of social care workers.
Care environments being hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis: the death count among residents was typically high in homes, while already low staff numbers plummeted further due to employees isolating to avoid passing on the virus.
The study even points out that dementia sufferers find it especially difficult to communicate with people wearing facemasks, which further contributed to their own distress and that of staff. There was also anger directed at care workers during the pandemic, often by family members frustrated that they could not see their loved ones.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, the new study was titled ‘Mental health of caregivers working in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic’ and published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders.
One of its authors, Takumi Takahashi, commented: “The results were illuminating. We found symptoms of depression or anxiety in more than half of the participants.”
The research was conducted by surveying a large number of care workers in Japan.
While the study was done outside of the UK, its findings about the pandemic sound all too familiar for people around the world.