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Table 3 Most frequently coded themes and their subthemes on the top work-related COVID-19 concerns as reported by HC aides (n = 16) in phone interviews of Safe Home Care COVID-19 qualitative study

From: “It changed everything”: The Safe Home Care qualitative study of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on home care aides, clients, and managers

Themes Subthemes Frequency coded
Aides concerned about becoming infected with COVID-19 from clients • Clients as possible carriers
• Bringing the virus home to her own family
• Not receiving an alert about a COVID-positive client
• Being vigilant with everything that needs to be touched
• Clients may not wear masks, especially during personal care tasks
• Consequences of becoming sick and being unable to work
 o Financial and livelihood hardships
Aides concerned about wider occupational and community COVID-19 transmission • Visitors exposing clients to COVID-19
 o Many visitors entering clients’ homes, often at the same time
  ▪ Family members, friends, neighbors, caregivers
  ▪ Visitors who do not wear masks or distance
• Being a carrier between clients’ homes and exposing elderly clients, others to COVID-19
• Despite heeding precautions, the stress of transmission remains
Aides empathize with elderly clients who cannot go out of the home • Clients showing signs of depression from distancing and isolation
 o Councils on Aging, senior centers, other activity places closed
 o Clients getting bored while being stuck at home
• Social distancing has pronounced effect on dementia clients
• Clients are anxious and worry a lot
Distancing affects compassion & socialization aspects of HC • Unable to comfort clients with physical connection
• Distancing creates barriers between people
• Some clients do not understand why physical connection is not allowed
  1. Coding frequencies (n = 16): *** 8 participants; **3–5 participants.