Rest homes for the elderly have been particularly hit during the crisis due the current COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of writing this article, more than 17,500 elderly people that lived in Care Homes have died due to coronavirus, more than 66% of the deaths. The infection and mortality rates in the institutionalised population are high. This is due to the advanced age, immune system deficit, and the presence of comorbidities, as well as because there are frail, because they live with other residents and carers in a closed institution, and transmission is easy in the context of a highly contagious and virulent virus. The elderly often have more severe forms of the disease. Atypical presentations are more frequent in the elderly and can delay the diagnosis. The Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) test in the first 7 days for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA is considered the test of reference (‘Gold standard’). The criteria for referring to a hospital site from Care Homes should take into account an assessment of comorbidity, the severity, the presence of severe cognitive impairment, and the dependency or necessity of ventilatory support in seriously ill patients. The social-health centres should have contingency plans available in order to offer a response when cases of COVID-19 appear. Isolation during pandemics may have important physical and psychosocial consequences in the residents. It is necessary to reflect and claim a new residential model from a person-centered care approach that seeks the integration of health and social services.
Copyright © 2020 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

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