Journal of Family Nursing; Jung-Ah Lee, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, Hyun Jung Kim, PhD, RN, Eunae Ju, MSN, RN, Yuqing Guo, PhD, RN, Julie Rousseau, PhD, CNM, RN, Lisa Gibbs, MD, Tiffany Marie Tran, BS, Courtney Elizabeth Tom, BS, Eilleen Sabino-Laughlin, MPH, and Priscilla Kehoe, PhD; Published July 4, 2022; DOI: doi/10.1177/10748407221106531
Caregivers of persons with dementia (PWDs) were socially isolated with little support during the COVID-19 pandemic “Stay-At-Home” order in the United States. To enhance social and emotional connection for diverse caregivers, a culturally/ linguistically appropriate telephone intervention provided compassionate listening, mindful breathing, and COVID-19 safety education. The study purpose was to understand caregiving challenges and to evaluate the intervention for caregivers during the early pandemic using a qualitative approach. Twenty-three caregivers participated in the intervention provided by bilingual research assistants for 3 months. Call logs were used to describe the caregivers’ dialogue. Thematic analysis identified (a) the challenges, including fear of coronavirus disease, providing around-the-clock care, and forced isolation and negative emotions; and (b) caregivers’ experience with the intervention, including connecting with the outside, relief from emotional stress, reliable COVID-19 information, and reinformed caregiving skills. Results suggest that the telephone support was of benefit to diverse caregivers of PWDs during the pandemic by promoting social connection and reducing emotional distress.