Home Care After Hospital Discharge: A Guide

Hospital Discharge Benefits of live in care

The benefits of recovery in a familiar environment

After weeks spent in the hospital, receiving care at home is a welcome change. The benefits of home care cannot be understated. In fact, according to one study, “ home care decreases costs, improves health outcomes, and reduces hospital stays ”. Our loved ones have the chance to recover and recuperate in familiar surroundings they are comfortable in. This can aid in the recovery process making it quicker, and it is also an excellent base for rehabilitation.

Around 60% of family members we speak to find themselves rushed into making decisions about care. Many people are unaware of the fact that there are care alternatives available to ensure the wellbeing of loved ones in their own homes. Such options include having a care professional live-in on a short term basis while recovery continues.

This arrangement acts as a wrap-around service to support the ongoing healthcare services provided by the NHS or district care teams and can help reduce the risk of falls, pressure sores and UTIs due to poor hydration.

Surgery and a hospital stay can make anyone feel vulnerable as well as physically weak and older patients often report a loss of confidence when they can’t continue with normal life as before. Many report a lack of energy and motivation with fatigue and loss of appetite soon setting in. The vicious circle of low energy, post-operative pain and a lack of support from busy family and friends can soon lead to depression and a worsening of existing health issues such as diabetes or heart disease. Quality of life and functional independence begins to suffer. It is well known that patients do much better when they are discharged from hospital back to their own homes if they have a support network to help them. Where family members are unavailable to help, live-in care helps the patient to recover faster by taking care of daily needs and helping with physical tasks and medication. Live in Care Hub

Live-in care can be a lifeline for those being discharged from hospital. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the key benefits of finding a live-in carer ahead of leaving hospital and heading home following a period of illness.

How do you arrange after hospital care?

If you or a loved goes into hospital, care and support should be arranged before you are discharged.

This means any extra care is arranged, such as 24 hour home care from a live-in care professional, any equipment is fitted, such as a raised toilet seat and any home adaptations are made, like grab rails in the bathroom.

When a loved one is due to be discharged from hospital, relatives are often left with the overwhelming task of arranging suitable care in either an at-home or care home setting.

Research carried out by the Live-in care hub has revealed than an overwhelming 97% of people would prefer to stay living at home if given the choice. However, this raises concerns for family members who are unable to offer the professional, one-to- one care discharged patients may require as they continue to recover at home. For people aged 65 to 80 years old living at home without additional care support, the figures for trips and falls range from a worrying 30% to 50% for the upper age tier, meaning these family concerns are far from unfounded.

Sadly, with commitments such as work and children also needing to be considered, it isn’t always possible to provide the help and support a loved one requires during the transition from hospital ward to home and beyond.

What types of after hospital care are available?

Clients being discharged from hospital can often receive specialist care from their carer with conditions like dementiaParkinson’s diseaseStrokeMSCerebral Palsy,and end of life care. Or specialist care can be provided alongside regular home care. This type of care helps clients to transition back into their everyday lives, taking care of many of the tasks which can be difficult immediately after surgery or a long hospital stay.

What will a live-in carer do after a hospital discharge?

Professional home carers can help make things easier for patients being discharged by hospital, by providing both practical and emotional support, depending on the patient’s unique needs. Live-in carers in particular can help with everything from cooking and cleaning (and other general household tasks) to helping with personal care, for example aiding with showering and dressing.

They can also help with running errands and assist with mobility-related needs such as moving around the home and assisting with everyday tasks after a hospital stay. Care can also include a more emotional form of support, such as listening to the concerns of a patient and helping them to get any additional help they may need.

Personalised live-in care also guarantees that there is someone on hand to monitor recovery in the interim and to report back to healthcare providers and family members on a regular basis.

Our live-in care professionals are specially trained to keep everything as calm and focused as possible for clients following an operation. They instantly provide a wide range of support in the home with 24/7 live-in care, including specialist tasks such as:

  • Coordinating a medication regime
  • Helping with medication collection and administering
  • Wound care
  • Medical team coordination (district nurse home visits)
  • Helping clients follow nutritional advice
  • Helping clients following lifestyle advice
  • Physiotherapy
  • Suggesting mobility aids and home adjustments to help with recovery
  • Maintaining the house and garden whilst you’re unable to
  • Providing pet care whilst you are unable to
  • Changing catheters, colostomy bag and stoma care, and other areas of more detailed physical care
  • Providing companionship whilst you might be unable to get out much
  • Providing care outside of the house whilst you visit friends or family members

What clients say about our bespoke after hospital care services?

We are glad to play a supportive role in each chapter of our clients‘ lives, and grateful to be trusted with their care. “Ashridge have previously helped out with stand-in care for my Mum who suffers from Parkinson’s with Dementia. At the beginning of this month, she suffered a setback and was admitted to hospital whereupon it became clear that live-in care would be more suited along with an additional pair of hands when required. Thankfully the stay in hospital was only short, however, it meant that the care element was urgent. I spoke with their Operations Manager and in the space of 24 hours, we had a plan in place with all bases covered! Absolutely amazing. Thank you to all the team, you are all such a pleasure to work with. 5-stars all round.” Family member of Client.

How long does live-in home-from-hospital care last?

The length of time someone will be cared for at home after a hospital visit varies depending on the needs of the client. This will be arranged as part of your bespoke care plan.

If you are not sure if Live in Care suitable for your loved one, it is possible to try it out and see. Our live-in care trial enables families to try our service and decide if it is the best fit without a long-term commitment.

Staying at home with a live-in carer after a hospital discharge will result in better recovery and well-being, dignity, independence and enjoyment of life. Following this transition period, regular home care visits can then be put in place and a tailored care plan created to best suit the needs of the person in question going forwards.

Bed-blocking is a health crisis for patients and the NHS

Health and social care professionals should support and involve the patient to be discharged in a safe and timely way to ensure they are only hospitalised for as long as they require hospital care. Discharging people once they no longer need acute care improves their outcomes and reduces the risk of medical complications such as deep-vein thrombosis, hospital acquired infections, and loss of independence. Evidence suggests that even 10 days of bedrest is associated with significant muscle loss in older adults.

It is well known that patients do much better when they are discharged from hospital back to their own homes if they have a support network to help them. Where family members are unavailable to help, live-in care helps the patient to recover faster by taking care of daily needs and helping with physical tasks and medication.

It’s important that you get the support you need after being discharged from hospital. If you’re worried about having to go into a care home when you leave hospital, there are options to explore before reaching this decision. Please contact us if you need support. You don’t need to feel that you’re muddling through on your own.

Additional sources of information

Care after illness or hospital discharge (reablement) – NHS

Discharge from hospital: What support will I get – Age UK

Leaving hospital | Independent Age

Hospital discharge and community support guidance – GOV.UK

Coming out of hospital | Carers UK

Elderly patients being discharged from hospital – Age Space