The struggle for goodcare. Moral challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown of Dutch elderly care facilities.

van der W. Geugten, Gaby Jacobs, M. A. Goossensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The COVID-19 lockdown of Dutch long-term care facilities between March and May 2020 affected the quality of lives of residents and opposed professional and personal ethics of care. This article, based on 25 in-depth interviews with healthcare chaplains, gives insight into what moral challenges appeared for care professionals. Moral challenges were related to: ‘family ruptures’, ‘residents’ loneliness and despair’, ‘cold-hearted deaths’ and ‘response and responsibilities’. The findings illuminate the complexity of providing care during the lockdown and show variation in the impact of these ethical experiences, in which both moral distress and moral resilience occurred.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-177
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Care and Caring
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • COVID-19 pandemic lockdown
  • Dutch elderly care
  • healthcare chaplaincy
  • moral challenges
  • moral resilience

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