University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The legacy of COVID-19 in dementia community support: ongoing impacts on the running of meeting centres

Morton, Thomas ORCID:, Evans, Shirley ORCID:, Swift, Ruby, Bray, Jennifer ORCID: and Frost, Faith (2024) The legacy of COVID-19 in dementia community support: ongoing impacts on the running of meeting centres. Working with Older People, 28 (1). pp. 74-83. ISSN 1366-3666

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Purpose – The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruption in community support for vulnerable older people and is thought to have exacerbated existing issues within UK adult social care. This study examines the legacy of that disruption on how Meeting Centres for people affected by dementia have been impacted in continually evolving circumstances.

Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were conducted at three Meeting Centre case study sites. Ninety-eight participants including people living with dementia, family carers, staff, volunteers, trustees and external partners were asked about the impact and legacy of the pandemic upon Meeting Centres. A thematic analysis was carried out on the data.

Findings – Ten themes were identified: Ability to re-open venues; Increased health decline and loss of members due to isolation; Closure or halting of linking services and dementia community support; Disruption to diagnosis and referrals; Increase in outreach, building communities and overall reach; Digital access and use of technology (boom and decline); Changes to carer involvement and engagement; Continued uncertainty and changes to funding, resources and governance; Staff and volunteer recruitment issues; Relief at/wish for return to pre-pandemic norms.

Originality and value – This paper offers new insight into a still-developing situation, namely the legacy effects of the pandemic upon third-sector community support for people affected by dementia, and the health and social care services that support it. The reduction in maintenance of pandemic-era technological innovations is a key finding.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Dementia, COVID-19, Community-based support, Social Inclusion, Digital exclusion, Ageing well
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Depositing User: Thomas Morton
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2023 13:26
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2024 11:27

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