Living in a care home during COVID-19: A case study of one person living with dementia

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Purpose – The paper aims to understand the lived experience of a person living with dementia in a care home during the COVID-19 pandemic. It responds to the absence in research of the voices of people with dementia living in care homes during the pandemic.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts a single case study design applied thematic analysis to semi-structured interview data to discover the experiences of one person living with dementia in a care home during a period of lockdown.
Findings – Five themes reveal how the participant responded to the practical and emotional challenges of the pandemic: (1) autonomy; (2) fears; (3) keeping connected; (4) keeping safe and (5) other people living with dementia. These themes highlight the participant’s ability to adapt, accept and dispute lockdown restrictions, revealing considerable insight into their situation.
Research limitations/implications – The pandemic has restricted access to care homes, which informed the single case study design. This approach to the research may restrict the generalisability of the findings. Other researchers are encouraged to include the voices of people with dementia living in care homes in further studies.
Practical implications – Implications for practice, presented in this paper, promote quality psychosocial approaches when healthcare workers engage with people living with dementia during periods of restricted activity.
Originality/value – Unlike other studies about the impact of the pandemic on care homes, this paper explores the experience of the pandemic in care homes from the perspective of a person living with dementia.


  • COVID-19, Care homes, Case study, Dementia, Lived experience, Thematic analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
JournalQuality in Ageing and Older Adults
Issue number3-4
Early online date15 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021

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