Sara Ulla has an extended experience in research and evaluation in academia and in the public administration. Currently she holds the position of Coordinator of Studies and Technical Support at the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO), where she is coordinates research and evaluation activities of the Institute and its National Reference Centers and she is responsible for international relations.
Previously, she worked at the Cabinet of the Health Minister as Advisor for International Relations and Strategic Planning. She was also the Head of the Evaluation Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, managing the strategic evaluations of the Spanish Cooperation for Development. She was Head of Unit in the National Agency of Public Policies Evaluation, being responsible for the design of a new strategic planning framework and codirecting specialized training in evaluation. She was Associate Professor at the UCLM, at the Psychology Department, being specialized in Health Psychology and Research Methods. She has participated in, directed and managed numerous evaluation and research works.
She has been the representative of Spain in: the Steering Committee of the European Observatory for Public Policies and Services, WHO; the Evaluation network of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (EVALNET); in the Steering Committee and in the Technical Working Group of the OECD Multilateral Organizations Assessment Network (MOPAN); and in the network of Directors of Evaluation Services in International Cooperation for Development of the European Union (EU HES).
She has PhD in Psychology and holds two Masters Degrees in Research Methods and in Applied Statistics. She is author or co-author of 4 books and she has written numerous papers in national and international research journals.
Long-term care centers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence and lessons learned
Sara M. Ulla Díez, Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO), Spain
Luis Alberto Barriga Martín, Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO), Spain
Inés Palanca Sánchez, Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO), Spain
In Spain, as in the rest of the countries, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 led to the adoption of multiple urgent measures for the care of the elderly in general, and for those who lived in long-term care (LTC) facilities in particular.
To systematically analyze the evidence, a study was carried out, in which the Central Administration, the Autonomous Communities -which have the competence to manage LTC -, and the social agents participated. Its objective was to analyze evidences and the measures taken; and from there, define a common framework in which all lessons learned are collected and measures to act jointly and coherently would be designed.
Thanks to the information provided by all the agents participating in this report, a series of factors that were present and that interacted in what could be described as a “perfect storm” were identified. These factors were grouped into:
a) The SARS-CoV-2 pathogen and the COVID-19 disease.
b) People living in long term care centers and their vulnerability.
c) The infrastructure, activity and access to means of protection.
d) The care staff and human resources of the residential centers.
e) Communication problems
f) The policies and strategies of isolation and confinement adopted and their effects.
g) Intersectoral governance and between different administrations.
h) Ageism, ethical dilemmas and legal problems.
This report analyzed the available data on the effects of pandemic in LTC, especially during the first phase of the pandemic (March-May). It also presents the strategies that were designed and implemented as of June 2020. As a result, there was a significant decrease in infections and deaths even in the face of worse accumulated incidence figures at the national level.
Besides the immediate and direct changes to reduce infections and deaths, there are currently far-reaching changes in the long-term care model that are also drawing on all the evidence generated during the pandemic. This poster will present the results of the report, offer the available evidence, the lessons learned; the measures that helped to contain, mitigate or eliminate the risk factors, and the policy changes that are currently underway.