The impact of COVID‑19 on the care and outcomes of off-reserve Indigenous older adults living in long-term care and receiving home care
Most COVID‑19 deaths were among vulnerable older adults living in long-term care (LTC) homes. This has led to calls for improvements in the quality of care provided in LTC homes. While the overall number of cases and deaths in LTC homes is well-documented, little is known about how COVID‑19 had affected Indigenous residents in LTC. This includes a lack of information about the lasting impacts of COVID‑19 (i.e., long COVID) on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous LTC residents. Similarly, those receiving publicly funded home care have been found to be more vulnerable to COVID-19. One study conducted in Ontario before the pandemic found that Indigenous older adults receiving home care in Ontario had poorer health outcomes compared to non-Indigenous older adults receiving home care. Again, little is known about COVID‑19 infection rates and outcomes for home care recipients. The current study will use health data to 1) describe and compare the socio-demographic and health status profiles of Indigenous and non-Indigenous LTC residents and home care recipients; 2) evaluate the quality of care received by Indigenous and non-Indigenous LTC residents and home care recipients during the COVID‑19 pandemic; 3) measure and compare COVID‑19 outcomes among Indigenous and non-Indigenous LTC residents and home care recipients; and 4) identify what factors are associated with COVID‑19 outcomes for Indigenous older adults. Understanding COVID‑19 infection rates and outcomes among Indigenous LTC residents and home care recipients is important to support efforts to achieve equitable care and health outcomes. The findings of the study will allow for conclusions to be drawn about how to decrease the negative impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic in these settings.