Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Help Them Home

Last week I shared the stories of two people in my life who we are supporting.  You can read that post here.  As you will know if you have read the stories already, or if you have an older person in your life who has had hospital treatment or suffered illness you will know yourself how much help and support is needed to get older people home.

I was asked by the Royal Voluntary Service to help promote their research supporting their "Let's End Going Home Alone" campaign.  The study looks into the hospital discharges of older people from the perspective of nurses.

Dud you know that 40% of patients over the age of 75 are actually well enough to be discharged from hospital yet delays continue to increase.

You can find out more information in this report from the BBC.

The main cause for the delays is lack of sufficient social care for older people.  It is important for everyone that individuals get home and get back to their normal lives.  This allows them to recover in the right way and also allows hospital services to be used for people who need to be in hospital.

Many of us have older people in our lives and it can be upsetting to think of them not receiving the care they need.  The Royal Voluntary Service has a solution.  The "Home From Hospital" service involves volunteers providing practical help to those needing that extra bit of support.

Some of the things that help can be provided for are getting them home safely after a stay in hospital, putting the heating on so they come home to a warm and welcoming house, making sure there is a supply of basic food in their home - things like bread and milk.  Checking in on them regularly and supporting them for the first six weeks while they get back on their feet.  Also providing a lift to medical appointments.

These are exactly the sorts of things that the man that I wrote about last week needed help with and that the lady continues to need help with.

Let's end going home alone
There is a lot of information about the campaign, what you can do and how you can get involved on the Royal Voluntary Service website here.

You can also help to spread the word about the report via Twitter using the #HelpThemHome and following @RoyalVolService

But what you can really do, on a basic and grass roots level is to look out for those older people in your family, your neighbours, friends and in your community.  Make sure that they get the help that they need.  Offer a lift, collect a pint of milk for them when you go shopping, check that they really do have the heating on.  Give them one of your old crocheted blankets to snuggle under!

Please spread the word.  Help to make sure that our older people are not stuck in hospital for any longer than they have to be.  I can tell you that they do so much better at home, in their own homes, than they ever do in hospital.  Once the treatment is over, they need to be home.

Also, remember to support the people giving the support.  They get worn out too!

Amy

Disclosure.  I was asked to spread this important message to you.  I have not received any compensation for this in any way.  I am telling you about it because it is personal to me and I think that it is important.

31 comments:

  1. I suppose you could say I was lucky with my parents, dad died young and mum died after a stroke at 88 though I did end up having to sort out an uncle for a few years in a nursing home before he also passed away. Not easy looking after elderly relations. I just hope I'm not a burden to my kids. Guess where my photos are from today

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  2. I totally agree Amy and of course being a nurse in the elderly care sector I come across this on a daily basis. Sometimes someone is discharged and readmitted a just week later suffering from neglect because the care package has fallen apart, it's heart breaking. It's also hard for family members who have the sole responsibility of looking after someone who is elderly and frail or even young and has a disability. We help when we can but as you say it's easy to get worn out mentally and physically. :) xx

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  3. An important subject, so hard as families these days are often so far away and neighbours dont look out for each other as they did in the old days. Good luck with the campaign.

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  4. You're right Amy, it's so important that older people have support in their community. It's valuable work that the Royal Voluntary Service do. Well done for spreading the message. CJ xx

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  5. Such an important cause, well done for making us all aware :) On various hospital visits with my Nana we met all sorts of people who just didn't have the family and support they needed to make it safely home, it was so sad. I hope your man and lady are doing well xx

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  6. Well done for highlighting this Amy.

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  7. From my perspective, as a nursing home nurse, our patients are often discharged too early from the hospital and come to us quite sick, needing to go back again. The problem comes when they are ready to go home from us - then we have the same issues as you mention. Thanks for highlighting this!

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  8. Thumbs up from me Amy, such a good thing to support and soooo needed!! x

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  9. I think you're doing a great job at highlighting this Amy - and again I am in awe at your genuine kindness. But you are also right about those helpers getting tired. If everyone shared a little of the load it is so much better for all around. Having people like you in the world makes it a better place and remember to look after yourself too! J9 x

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  10. such an important campaign x

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  11. It's a shame that volunteers are needed for this sort of thing, isn't it? Communities aren't what they used to be, we can live in the same street as someone for years yet don't even know their name, never mind know if they need any help. Well done for spreading the word.

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  12. You are right Amy - so very important for us to think of others, rather than assume someone else is already taking care of a neighbour.
    x

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  13. You are doing a good thing, Amy!! blessings ~ tanna
    ps the Ashmolean visits are just out of this world! Incredible pieces!!

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  14. Hi Amy.....
    Hopefully your loved ones will benefit from this awareness....
    Best of luck!
    Enjoy your week my friend...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  15. Good information to pass on. My Nana had 2 of her daughters near by that checked on her several times a day. I really feel for those that are on there own constantly, the loneliness is not good.

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  16. Amy, I am seeing somewhat of a different situation with the hospitals. Now with the rulings from Medicare, the hospitals want you out as soon as possible, especially if you need only be there for testing. Then it becomes the job of the caretaker to get the person back and forth to the labs for tests, then back and forth to the doctors.

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  17. It is nice that you give some attention to this, Amy.
    And like you say, if everybody would just keep an eye open for elderly people in their own environment, and give them a hand, things would already be looking much better.
    As an only child, I know what I will be facing (and am facing already from time to time) with my parents, and I am very thankful for neighbours and friends who lend a hand in time of need...

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  18. Like Linda says above, hospitals here are eager to get people out as soon as possible and then someone has to shuttle the sick person everywhere and find a way to care for them at home too. It's not easy in any situation, though. It's good that you're helping to spread awareness, especially as our huge "baby boomer" generation reaches old age.

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  19. An impressive and important service, especially so as being in hospital is such a risk factor in itself for older people. Delayed discharge from hospital is a problem often for younger people, too, especially if they're isolated. I'm a psychologist on an acute psychiatric ward and we often get people to the stage where they're ready to go home but they can't be discharged because they haven't got any accommodation or their benefits aren't sorted, etc. It's sad and frustrating.

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  20. What a lovely post. How wonderful that you are spreading the good word. We can help our neighbors!
    So sweet of you.

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  21. I think it's important to share this kind of information. Thanks.

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  22. Amen to all of this Amy -and God bless for spreading the word. Grace shines through your words and intentions. God bless. xo

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  23. Such an important message. Sarah x

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  24. Amy what a great post ..... one that is so important to share and take action on, if we can all begin in our neighbourhood that has to be a positive step, thanks.

    All the best Jan

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  25. Amy, you are just the loveliest,loveliest person. Such an important thing to think about.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  26. It is an important message, bravo for writing about it xx

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  27. We have a lovely Dr here in The Glade and this is exactly her remit. She gets older people home from hospital but crucially with the right support! However she explains that she is the only Dr in the whole trust doing this particular role and that it's an experiment!! She is so so dedicated. Such an important topic x

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  28. You are doing such an important thing by spreading the word Amy!!! You are helping so many by just posting the information above! I hope we all will do and learn a little more about how we can help our loved ones stay comfortable and taken care of as they age. Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday! Nicole xo

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  29. This is such an important campaign and thanks for highlighting it. When I look back (as I do far too often), that's what people did in the community I grew up in, without being asked, without a second thought. Nobody had much materially and they stood by each other through thick and thin. I don't even know some of the people living in my (short) road. Sign of the times, methinks.

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  30. Thanks for sharing about this. It is so important to look after the older people in our community. My father will soon be 87 and he lives with us so I can make sure he has everything he needs and is always warm.

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  31. This is an important cause, Amy! Well done for taking the time to talk about it.
    Amalia
    xo

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