After a stay in hospital, you or your loved one may now need additional help to return to independent living.
It can be quite a stressful time, as the patient might be “impatient” to get back to their own house, but their recent injury or illness has created new challenges.
It’s really important not to return home and try to manage, making adjustments to living arrangements that impact on your health and wellbeing. This could include, for example, not eating properly because shopping and cooking are unfeasible or uncomfortable tasks. Or staying indoors all day every day, as you have lost confidence to go out and about.
Accessing the help you’re entitled to
There is help available – temporarily or permanently – once you leave the hospital. The rule of thumb is that care can be funded by two different organisations. If you have ongoing health issues – such as breathing problems, mobility issues, failing eyesight and conditions which result in dementia – the NHS will provide some support.
If your needs are connected to daily living, this is known as social care. Your local authority is the source of funding to help with home care in the UK.
Both organisations will assess what is needed, how much money you can afford to contribute (if you have savings over a certain level) and what funding they will provide.
This may sound daunting, but it is both your right to have this assessment and a lot of common sense. It is the best way to make your return home both possible and pleasant.
Sometimes you may need some temporary help while you recover from your injury or illness. This may mean a short stay in a residential care facility for example, or a programme of home care that supports you throughout the day or even overnight.
When you are feeling better and more confident, you may be able to return to complete independence. Or, you may benefit from continuing help with tasks that you find particularly difficult. This is called domiciliary care – help in your home to ensure you enjoy the quality of life.
Supporting your independence
A good home care agency will arrange to do the tasks you are happy to hand over; often some of the more mundane daily chores. This enables you to focus your time and energy on getting well again, and doing the things you enjoy.
They can also provide peace of mind and friendship if your return from hospital has left you feeling more isolated or concerned about your home life.
Getting the right home care agency after hospital
The important message from all of this is that if you or your relative come out of hospital and need help, it is available. This can be both temporary or permanent help to make the transition from hospital to home.
Lastly, getting help with home care doesn’t mean completely losing independence. The support will focus on tasks that someone else can easily do. With the right home care services in place, you can enjoy your daily life free of stress, pain or risk taking.